An Attitude of Gratitude
November isn’t the best month in New England. Leaf peeping season has just passed, the weather is getting colder and the days are getting shorter, and then we get the double bonus of turning the clocks back (why do we do this again?). Oh, and it’s election month. This year’s election might be fairly tame, but next year, oh boy, that could be interesting…
On a positive note, the Bruins are back, and the Celtics are warming up the parquet, Spring Training for the Red Sox is only about 100 days away and the Patriots…never mind about them, I hope you enjoyed the championship run while it lasted, because those days are long gone! I just wish Belichick would stop calling me, I told him I retired from football years ago.
The world appears to be in great disarray these days, with multiple wars and deadly conflicts raging in Ukraine and the Middle East. It certainly is unsettling and I’m sure many of us are feeling anxious. As these wars rage on I wonder what it was like in the past, back before my time, in the 1940’s, when the entire world was at war? I’m sure it felt like the “end of the world” was close back then too. Perhaps there are a few residents who remember those days. Or what was it like in the 1960’s, when we were embroiled in another war and the issue of civil rights and race was reaching a boiling point? Or what if we go even further back, to the 1860’s, when our country was in the midst of a civil war, with bloody battlefields stretching from Gettysburg to the deep South – our very country divided to the point that over 620,000 soldiers (2% of the population) were killed. In today’s population that would account for nearly 6 million people. Our human history is a history full of war and conflict. It can be very sad and disheartening.
Even though November is not my favorite month, it does bring a few good things - Veterans Day and Thanksgiving. Veterans Day is a great day as it gives us an opportunity to remember the sacrifices made on our behalf to protect our freedoms and way of life. It’s an opportunity to be thankful to our Veterans, and to tell them as much. Our Veterans are the true heroes among us. And Thanksgiving is the most aptly named holiday. This gives us a chance to reflect on anything and everything for which we are thankful. I’m thankful for family, friends, co-workers, the city of Haverhill, New England, an education, some great kids, a wonderful wife, and much more. I remember an old hymn from my childhood that goes something like this, “count your blessings, name them one by one…”, maybe we can all take time this month to make a list of those things we are most thankful for. Count your blessings, make a list, and don’t forget to thank a Veteran.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy