Our cleaning crew was just here; they come from Sunshine House a facility that offers day care and work opportunities for developmentally disabled individuals. I am sitting in front of a blank page as they are putting on their coats to leave when one young lady says through my open door, “See ya later alligator.”
With no hesitation at all I responded, “After while crocodile.”
She was thrilled.
Life’s simple pleasures. We should all be so easily satisfied, so quick to offer thanks as she was. She told the next four people she saw in the hall what had happened. Giddy with pleasure and grateful for my response she ran up to her supervisor and excitedly told her what I’d said.
The sun shines; the rain drenched earth prepares itself for winter by slowly retreating into a dormant state. The crisp frosty mornings hint at colder, frostier, darker, snowier mornings to come. It is Thanksgiving soon and our thoughts turn to … well besides Christmas … our thoughts turn to expressing gratitude.
I love Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving you see includes no weird slant on theology. There are no odd Bible stories to decipher and reinterpret. There are no consumer driven or nationalistic prideful slants to get in the way. It is simply about gratitude.
It is simply about fostering an attitude of being grateful for all we have, the places we live, the people we live with, the homes we live in, the food that nourishes us and the friends who encourage us along the way.
And . . . one does not have to be grateful “to” anyone or thing!
Gratitude is a way to live and love. It is a way to be with others. One does not have to be Christian or non-Christian. Buddhists, Hindus, Muslims, practice gratitude. Native indigenous people of all continents experience and teach the importance of gratitude. Thanksgiving is the one day that Catholics and Protestants can worship together. It is the one day in which we could probably find a real spirit of unification. Even with atheists.
Gratitude, it could tie the world together in peace. Recognition that we are mutually dependent and grateful to one another for our existence is not so hard to see and understand. Appreciation for the role each must play in society from the cleaning people to the CEO’s, from the artists and musicians to the CPA’s and accountants, we are all working toward making the world a little better and we must be grateful for one another and for the earth and sky and all that is in them.
There is something sacred about the air we breathe and the water we drink. There is something special about being able to express our gratitude for the simplest of things. To the young lady who was so pleased with my, “after while crocodile.” Thank you for the smile!
Let us be grateful.