Gratitude for Our Differences

Thanksgiving begins the season of reflection, expressing gratitude and thanks. At Thanksgiving, many of us gather with family, friends and others we bond with. We spend time with people with whom we feel a connection. We express our gratitude to those who have helped us in small or large ways. We count our blessings and commit ourselves to do greater good for our family and the community we serve.

Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to find common ground among others. We truly have strength in numbers — the strength of different mindsets, ideas, aspirations and ways of effecting change. Focusing on our collective strengths helps us achieve a deep bond. For one day, we come together for the sheer benefit of coming together. We put personalities aside and leave conflict behind. We listen, are thoughtful and practice patience. We get outside ourselves and put others first.

I am sure we can do more than set aside our differences for just one day a year. We can take this approach out into the world in our daily interactions. We can accept different lifestyles, work styles, actions and choices of others as theirs and glean insight and perspective from others. Our differences can be our strength and inform us in new, rewarding ways.

When we appreciate the differences in others, we can begin to let them color our lives. We can live in gratitude that no two people are exactly alike. We may be cut from the same cloth, but we each have a unique design and purpose. This Thanksgiving, and going forward, let’s show our gratitude by setting aside what we think we know about others and staying on common ground. Let’s make a choice to embrace others one and all.

May you and your family have a Happy Thanksgiving.

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