Thursday, 27 November 2014

'Be thankful for what you have; you'll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don't have, you will never, ever have enough.'

Oprah Winfrey said that.  I like her.  She seems a sensible woman, who has control of her own life and appreciates everything she has worked hard for.  She talks a lot of sense, in-between the self-help twaddle.  I used to watch her show, back in the day, when I was in my teens and early twenties and it was on before Neighbours and Home and Away when I got back in from work.  I must admit to having the occasional guilty pleasure, buying O magazine and seeing what the great one had to say on everything from faith to fornication via cookery tips and meditation - all in one magazine!  Incredible.  I liked her strong sense of herself, her place in the world and how thankful she was to be there.  Okay, so she also had Tom Cruise jumping up and down on her sofa but even she couldn't avoid being pulled into the glamour of Hollywood sometimes.  I admire her still for the way she has a concept of her spiritual self that she is happy to embrace and to share. 
However, this was supposed to be about Thanksgiving.  I really do wish that we had something like that over here.  i woke up this morning to Radio Four's Prayer for the Day and for a brief couple of minutes was encouraged to think about what it actually meant to be thankful for simply being, not for having stuff, not for being glad that we weren't in a worse place (see BandAid's most controversial line - tonight thank God it's them instead of you), no this was simply a call to the heart to be thankful for what we have, the small pleasures and delights that are a part of every day we pass through, however bad it might seem at the time.  From the outside, Thanksgiving seems to be about reconnecting to simplicity, sharing time with family and friends and appreciating all that we have, rather than mourning all that we perceive to be missing out on - usually materialistic in focus.  I hope it really is still about this at its core and if it is, long may it continue.
I will try and hold onto those words of wisdom from Oprah and Prayer for the Day as this day comes to an end and the next, full of promise and wonder, prepares to arrive.

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