Categories for Gratitude

Stars & 7 billion people

I recently have become more interested in and enamored with the stars.  I just received a book put out by National Geographic entitled Hubble: Imaging Space and Time with a lot of photos of stars, galaxies and nebulae from the Hubble telescope.  Although the following image isn’t from that book, it demonstrates the wonder I am finding in the stars. At the same time that I am contemplating the incomprehensible enormity of the universe, I also am becoming more aware of how many people there are on earth.  This month’s National Geographic title story is about the fact that the... Continue reading...

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January 12, 2011 8:36 am
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Core Principles for Life

As I travel, meeting with various families, businesses and organizational leaders, I am exposed to a wide range of people, situations and subcultures (usually within the U.S., but also with English-speaking families overseas [I acknowledge much of my life experience is limited by a North American bias]). These experiences, in combination with the changes occurring within our economy, government and culture, lead me to make some observations about core principles for life that keep coming up. I’d like to share some of my observations and how they often are counter to what is presented in our current mainstream culture: Truth... Continue reading...

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October 10, 2010 8:13 pm
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The Opposite(s) of Thanksgiving

We usually think of opposites in terms of a simple, “either-or” relationship — such as light and darkness, large and small, heavy and light. And these opposites exist on a single continuum, with the opposing characteristics being on the ends of the spectrum. But there are some relationships which are more complex, where there is more than one characteristic that can be opposite of another.  For example, in comparing a “good meal” with a bad one, there are different factors that can lead to that judgment. The quality of the basic ingredients, the correct amount of the ingredients, combining the... Continue reading...

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November 21, 2009 3:28 pm
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A Real Life Fire Drill

Last night we had an interesting life experience — one of our neighbors’ home caught fire and burned to the ground. For those of you who don’t know, we live out in the country surrounded by trees.  There are 8-10 homes in our area, with woods (currently very dry woods) in between homes. Around 11:30 p.m., my daughter, Lizz, came into our room and said she thought she heard gunshots and then sirens.  Just then the phone rang and the wife of the leader of the county firefighters in our area called saying our neighbor’s house was engulfed in flames;... Continue reading...

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February 9, 2009 8:53 am
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Dealing with the Impact of the Economic Downturn

Almost all of us in the United States are now starting to personally experience some aspect of the global and national economic crisis.  Whether it is through a personal or family job loss, friends and extended family members who have been laid off, a slow down in your business, or projected reduced sales for next year — the impact is now personal.  This is different than hearing it on the news or reading statistics in a publication. I resent the frenzy and panic the media seems to want to whip up, because this type of communication doesn’t help anyone.  We... Continue reading...

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December 7, 2008 2:17 pm
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Antidote to Stressful News

Major (repeated) upheaval in the financial markets.  Hurricane Ike.  Flooding across the Midwest.  Concerns about who will be elected President (from both sides). Bombings in Pakistan.  Political turmoil in Bolivia and Venezuela.  The negative, worry-producing news keeps coming. What’s a person to do?  Ignore it?  Stress out?  Drink more? (I heard a news report that beer and wine sales are up significantly in the last 6 months.) Previously, I have written about the role of thankfulness and gratitude in helping us live more contentedly. Rather than pontificate on the subject further, I thought I would share the things in my... Continue reading...

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September 21, 2008 6:45 pm
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The Encouragement of Thanks

Recently, my wife and I have had a couple of experiences together on which we both commented to one another. One experience was actually two separate events that were similar and which occurred close together. As a family, we enjoy music and frequently go to music events of various kinds — concerts by professionals, school concerts, musical theatre productions, and free community events (e.g. concerts in a park). This summer we had the opportunity to go to a couple of professional productions and were able to take along some younger friends of ours and our family. The evenings went well... Continue reading...

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July 20, 2008 3:55 pm
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Reflections on the 4th of July: Our Freedoms and Rights

I love the 4th of July holiday – largely because we have wonderful family “get togethers” that are a lot of fun (and we have done so for several years, which evoke a large number of fond memories for me.) And our family celebrations involve several traditions that I enjoy – being outside playing games (this year I was introduced to bocce), shooting fireworks, barbeque with great grilled meat, swimming and boating, and watching a large fireworks show (one of my great nieces asked “Why do we celebrate the Fourth of July with fireworks?” which led to a neat family... Continue reading...

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July 6, 2008 3:09 pm
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