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Thanksgiving, the larger picture

There’s been so much dissension, so much distaste and so much disgust at recent world events that it seems Thanksgiving is the ideal time to set aside differences and focus on what’s truly important: humanity.

We need to think outside of ourselves and our desires — we need to think of others who might be struggling with visible and/or hidden demons. 

Some people struggle financially and have trouble making ends meet in today’s appallingly high-cost world. Low incomes and rising expenses make affordable living difficult, and those with families have to work that much harder to provide for more people.

It’s not easy.

Then there are the hardships many face finding work. Jobs can be tough to come by. Finding employment to suit one’s needs can be especially difficult these days. Many are finding they can’t work in their given field, and have to take whatever work they can manage to get.

Then there’s the cost of living — paying for rent, a mortgage, a car and insurance, utilities and food — it all adds up. How, exactly, on today’s median income are people expected to afford all of what they need, let alone some of what they want? 

It can be tough.

Health is another issue. Those who are lucky enjoy great health — both physical and mental. Hopefully, most people can avoid those aches and pains — or worse — that go hand-in-hand with aging. Being in tip-top mental condition, too, and not struggling with any of those all-too-common ailments like depression, anxiety, psychosis or worse is another gift to those fortunate enough to know good mental health.

For those who do struggle with their health, hopefully there’s some relief. The lucky ones have little in the way of medical bills and generous health insurance coverage. For the rest, well, it can be a constant battle.

Then there’s home life. Are things going well? Or are they super stressful? How often does crisis take over the household? How often does peace reign? How frequently can goals get accomplished?

There are so many things that could go wrong for so many. Whether these struggles are visible or not, they are very real. Everyone struggles in some way. That’s just part of life. We are imperfect beings — as are our loved ones and our life situations. 

Try not to be too hard on yourself or those around you. Be kind, be calm and be patient. And it goes without saying on a holiday like Thanksgiving, be thankful. 

Because no matter the struggle, things could always be worse. Appreciate life. Appreciate loved ones. Appreciate everything — good and bad — and learn from life’s experiences. If this sounds foreign, there’s no better time to test the waters than now, when the holidays are upon us and the spirit of goodwill is rife.

Happy Thanksgiving.