The very first Wednesday’s Words that I wrote was only a couple of paragraphs long, just prior to Thanksgiving, 2006. My first book was going to be released in March of 2007, and I came up with the idea of a weekly essay—primarily at the time to get my name “out there”. Between then and now, I have missed but a few Wednesdays. Personally, I can’t believe I have had enough opinions to last for a once a week essay for eight years.
Of course, the love of essay writing has since eclipsed the desire for publicity when it comes to writing these words for you each week.
I generally shy away from overly controversial topics. That’s just my nature. I see no reason to offend people with my own political or religious views. Because I’m Canadian, I tend not to speak out about the issues facing my American friends, as they head to the voting booth, or more recently, as they deal with tense domestic situations.
I can feel sympathy for a mother who loses a son, and for a cop who believes he’s doing his job when he shoots that son—even when it would seem those two emotions are in conflict, one with the other. I can also tell you that in my 60 years, I have noticed that looting, pillaging, burning, destroying—none of these actions has ever been successful in obtaining justice for anyone. Except, of course, against those doing the looting, pillaging, burning and destroying.
I know there are a lot of people who don’t believe “the system” works. But if mob violence, and striking out against others, hurting the innocent alongside the not-so-innocent with brutality could change the way the system does operate, then it would be even more badly broken than it already is.
The one thing I know without question is this: there is a lot of hurting, a lot of anger, and a lot of desperation in the world today. Having experienced all three of those emotions in my lifetime, I wouldn’t wish any of them on anyone.
We’re entering the time of year when families get together, to celebrate their special holidays. It’s also, and not coincidentally the time of year when those who are lonely, or in need, feel those circumstances most keenly. I know of some people who work in the public sector who cringe as the holiday season approaches, because there always seems to be an increase in general grumpiness—aka the hurting, the anger and the desperation.
“Bah, humbug” rivals “ho, ho, ho” for the title of the most overused expression of the season.
We hold on, and we hope that the tensions and the tempers will ease, that the weather will ease, and that the economy will continue to improve, little by little, so that keeping body and soul together becomes less of a titanic struggle.
One thing I have noticed lately that is very encouraging, is the number of people making daily posts in social media of things for which they’re thankful. I have long believed that one of the secrets to happiness is having an attitude of gratitude all the time.
No matter how bad things get in your life, there is always something to be thankful for. I’m not just sucking wind here. My beloved and I have known great loss, and great need. And even in those darkest of days, there were things that we were grateful for.
Maybe if we focus on that, on being thankful, we’ll invite a little good karma into our lives and thereby into our world.