"Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others." --Cicero
Did you hear about Jerry? He has cataracts. He's a little older, I suppose. Youth do not usually have to deal with that kind of ailment. They seem to be a product of the aged but I'll stop stereotyping because my dog is on the same cataract cruise line.
Jerry must be grateful. He is a free bird this year, literally. Jerry is a turkey. He won't be butchered for the feast of men happening today. Jerry would probably be smiling--barring his beak and the peculiar, gelatinous, red-colored, flesh that surrounds it. Is that what creates that distinctive gobble sound?
Anyway, as we take a walk in Jerry's tracks, we can see that a being far above him has shone the light of providence and delivered him from his certain fatal destiny. No, Jerry will not land on a platter this year. Rather, the hopes of new life have dawned into sight for him. This is so, even amidst those pesky cataracts.
For added perspective, the President of the United States pardoned a turkey named Courage yesterday from its would-be deathly dinner. Apparently, the sentiment of his name payed off. Courage weighs 45 pounds and will spend the rest of his life in Disneyland, no joke--Google it. Needless to say, both Courage and Jerry are grateful. Thanksgiving has brought new life and the meaning of gratitude has taken on a new luster.
So, here it is, Thanksgiving 2009. What can we learn from our friends Jerry and Courage? Perhaps we can raise our sights above any grudges we hold or any flaws of our own and be grateful towards that Pardoning Hand that continually offers us new days and years to look toward, even amidst the cataracts of life. They may just be blessings we haven't looked to see into yet. Mercy extended begets mercy extended; sacrifice begets sacrifice; a smile begets a smile. Truly, gratitude is the lens cleaner of life. This virtue helps us really see all that we have been given and who matters most in life. It is quite the trail of discovery. You can't Google that, I promise!