UPDATE: Take the challenge through the holiday season!
There have been a lot of changes over the past year. We have seen the US become divided along socio-economic lines, political party lines, racial lines and even technological lines. Division seems to be the theme of the day. While many are trumpeting its rampant surge throughout our nation, there seems to be relatively few who are attempting to bridge these divisions.
The pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts … nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving.
–H. W. Westermayer
This thanksgiving, take the challenge to do two things:
- Be thankful for what you have
- Bridge the gap with those you are divided from
Today, so many of us are lacking contentment. If we truly look around us, and see the blessings we have, maybe we can realize that a lot of our stress and discontentment comes for our selfish desires and wants.
Once, when my feet were bare, and I had not the means of obtaining shoes I came to the chief of Kufah in a state of much dejection, and saw there a man who had no feet. I returned thanks to God and acknowledged his mercies, and endured my want of shoes with patience
– Sadi, The Gulistan
Would you be able to help the less fortunate this holiday season? I want to propose that if those who had extra would take it upon themselves to organize and truly help the less fortunate, that our country would not have to be the ‘safety net’ and support system for the poor.
Thanksgiving and the hardest step.
To bridge the gap with someone or group you are separated from is probably the hardest step of the Thanksgiving 2012 Challenge. You are asked to put aside your pride and reach out to someone whom you feel does not want to share in your beliefs. It is sometimes difficult to set aside our thoughts, goals and drive to make peace with another. Compromise is sometimes viewed as an ugly word. While I am not suggesting you put aside your foundational beliefs, I am asking that you not let it be the bumper, or battering ram for your personal interactions. The old saying “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” cannot be actuated without being able to refrain from becoming the ambassador of your point of view.
Learn to find the common ground. Strive to achieve common goals. Make a place where you can share and grow mutually.
Here is my pledge: “I will help someone in need this holiday season. I will find some common ground with someone whose ideas or opinions I don’t necessarily agree with, and will work with them to achieve a unified goal.”
Will you join me?
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