This is American Thanksgiving. In Canada, our Thanksgiving holiday happened earlier. But it is worthwhile remembering the value of giving thanks for our family, friends, neighbours and communities – the ones who help when we need help and comfort.
And I firmly believe that there are far more of them than we often see in the headlines.
- Those who choose to help, when others need help.
- Those who choose kindness, rather than acrimony.
- Those whose first preference is to look for solutions, when they see problems.
- Those who celebrate others’ achievements, however big or small, rather than focus primarily on criticism.
It is worthwhile pointing out that in disasters and emergencies – the kind that are proliferating as we deal with climate change and all its associated crises – most people choose to see how they can help their neighbours and those caught up in the crisis. All around the world.
Our most human imperative is to help, to give comfort and succor, to reach out with food or clothing, or to give a hug.
Whether it is people in British Columbia rescuing people and animals from floods or making difficult rescues; whether it is people in Poland offering help to the people caught up in the border machinations of the Belarusian president; whether it is people escaping Afghanistan and trying to build a new life elsewhere; or whether it is people setting up a GoFundMe to help families harmed by sickness or mindless violence – to name just a few recent examples.
Today, I give thanks to all of you, for what you do. And I encourage you to look for these stories, and share them as widely as you can. This is not just ‘good news’ – it is fundamentally who we are as a species.