Respect, integrity, honesty. Kindness, compassion, patience, wisdom. The Golden Rule. Oh, and someone to shovel our driveways. At this time of year, we often talk about what we are thankful for, but …
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Respect, integrity, honesty. Kindness, compassion, patience, wisdom. The Golden Rule. Oh, and someone to shovel our driveways.
At this time of year, we often talk about what we are thankful for, but I also asked people what they want to be grateful for in the coming year. (Mine is world peace.)
High school friend Tami would like “the Golden Rule of ‘love your neighbor’ to be the norm and not the newsworthy exception.” So does my friend Steve: “I want the people of this great nation to treat others as if they are people you care about, even if they believe something you don’t.”
Former colleague Ann agrees: “I would not want us all to agree on everything … I believe diversity of thought results in better decisions. We need to listen, to be open to opposing views, and to remember people gave their lives for us to be able to discuss the good and the bad openly.”
Fellow writer Colleen wants a return to integrity, honesty and value of all humans, including “respect and honor for women, their stories and their histories, and their abilities to make decisions for themselves.”
Poet friend Kirsten sees the midterms as a powerful learning experience, “a chance to send our actions, values and choices as tiny splinters of light into a cracked world.”
Steve, another friend and former colleague, provided the most succinct response: “RBG’s health,” referring, of course, to Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg, who broke three ribs in a fall last week. No matter our political persuasions, I’m sure we all wish her a speedy recovery.
I also received more lighthearted answers, including dear friend Patty’s wish for long-delayed light rail service to Arvada. Fellow writer and funny lady Petra, who also wants to work together to fight the climate crisis and stop gun deaths, says, “Personally, I would be grateful for someone to shovel my driveway.”
Two young men I admire offered soul-soothing sentiments. Justin wants to be grateful more often, for the simple things. “Everything is a miracle,” he says, “and each day is a gift.” David wants to be grateful for the moments with his little daughters. “Everything they do and say is precious, adorable and/or hilarious if I stay patient and present.”
Another set of parents agreed, wanting to be “grateful for not living with anxiety and for having patience with the children and the circumstances.”
Stacy, who I met on the Governor’s Council for Physical Fitness, articulates my exact thoughts: “I would be grateful if people ask themselves three things before posting on social media: ‘Is it kind, is it necessary, and is it helpful?’ We can never be too kind.”
My high school classmate, Ellen, inspires me. “I want to be thankful for transformation,” she says, “no longer fear and hatred of the ‘Other,’ based on skin color, or religious or sexual preference, no longer a need to dominate based on gender. And I want it to start in my heart.”
Long-time compatriot Dave wants “wisdom for the leaders of the world, wisdom at home, and an end to the hate, violence and unnecessary suffering of victims.” If this happens, he tells me, I just might get my own wish for world peace.
Andrea Doray is a writer who is fervently thankful for family and friends, pens and paper, and her beautiful life, and would like to be grateful that she found the exact Miata she sold 10 years ago. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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