Thanksgiving: Gratitude for what’s been given and the attitude to pay it forward. A time to not only reflect what’s kept us alive but a time to be grateful for what allows us to thrive. Our ability to learn from our mistakes in order to make the world a better place.
The settlers had a rough first year in Plymouth, many died in their attempt to live in freedom and pursue happiness. They learned the cost of innovation and the challenges of finding solutions in a world that didn’t play by the same rules as the one they had left.
Today we have a country that has not only survived but has thrived to become the most successful example of democracy to date. In looking back to our history from colony, to states to a nation under God, you can’t help but wonder: Where are we going? Can we maintain our greatness?
Or, as the mighty empires that have gone before us, do we fall?
The answers lie in your willingness to reach out your hand, and, as the Native Americans did for the Pilgrims, look beyond your own individual needs and as nurses do the collective work of unity and justice for all.
There’s a multitude of ways to bring an attitude of gratitude that not only shifts your perception of happiness but also helps to sustain the progression of goodwill toward all.
Besides donating canned and dried goods to a food bank, volunteering to feed the homeless or visiting the elderly in nursing homes, try getting involved by using your connections with other nurses to:
• Set an example of grace and dignity even in the most frustrating situations
• Get rooted in your community like one of its strongest oak trees, it starts locally to produce global effects
• Provoke action by being an advocate: shake things up when someone’s walk doesn’t match their talk
• Make peace a priority in order to increase domestic spending on education, the unemployed, healthcare and our infrastructure
• Demand a living wage and dignity of all workers
• Support a tax on Wall Street
• Write or phone your congressmen: no one concedes anything without insistent and persistent demands
Most of all love who you are and get out of your own way to become the channel for the infinite wisdom of the universe to shine through.