Thursday, November 24, 2016

Every year around this time, we Americans are somewhat forced to reflect on all that we have to be thankful for. This week, many of us sat around a table surrounded by those we love (and some we may just tolerate on holidays), and likely shared, either out loud to the group or to a close friend, all the things that make our lives great. Some of us have a little more than others to be thankful for this year. Others will just be thankful to have warm food in their bellies.

No matter what our situation is, I believe we can all find a little joy to celebrate. For me, the past year has been both full of adventure and fun as much as it has been bittersweet. Even through tough times, I have still remained focus on every glimmer of hope and love that I can grasp.

It’s a tough time to raise children. My son watches the news and reads stories about brutal killings, a national divide, crises and more. And he still has hope and dreams and aspirations, mostly to do well and be a decent human. Part of that is how he is raised, but a large portion of that outlook on life has to do with his personality and his genuine heart.

We can teach our kids to be reactive, or we can teach them to be proactive. In our house, we love and respect everyone, no matter their faith, desires or race. In our house, we practice kindness and giving. In our house, we do not tolerate anything less. And for that, I’m extremely thankful. I was raised to be a caring, loving, respectful person and I expect the same from my child.

This year, I’m thankful for parents who taught me how to be decent. I’m thankful that I’m still open-minded enough to hear all sides of a story and come to my own conclusions on what I believe to be true. I’m thankful that I have a son who can teach me new ways of thinking. I’m thankful that he can grow up in a world where kindness matters. And, I’m thankful that I have the opportunity to help influence my own little portion of this community with positive news stories and features on some of the most amazing people I’ve ever met.

When we stop looking for the good in life, we start focusing on the bad. Positive messages and loving words can truly have an impact. I only hope I can be a part of that ripple of compassion.

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