Sometimes, it snows all day, and the world turns pure, for just a while, unsoiled and untrammeled.  Usually when I least expect it, someone, or something, will surprise me with an amazing blessing.  Sometimes, I get to share a laugh with complete strangers, sometimes complete strangers help me out in a time of need.  Sometimes, people give me the gift of complete honesty, and sometimes I get to give them the gift of whatever I currently have to offer, even if that is only the willingness to listen.  Sometimes, I hit the perfect line on the river, or the mountain, or the single-track, and daily I am amazed by the perfection in my children’s laughter. Sometimes, I hear amazing stories of people simply doing the right thing, the honest thing, the kind thing.  Sometimes, I think we will rise above the chaos around us, because I see moments when it happens in both big and small ways.

How often do I forget that?  How often do I get wrapped up in the negative perspective so many would wish me to have on the world?  Far too often.  I have to remind myself everyday to be grateful.  Grateful for the peace I have in my home, even if it is messy and chaotic most of the time.  Grateful for the family and friends that I am fortunate to be surrounded with.  Grateful that I don’t have to fear for a loved one in combat.  Grateful that I don’t have to worry about my home being bombed, or demolished.  Grateful that I have food to put on the table.  Grateful that, in spite of all the horrible things I know exist in our world, I still believe in the goodness of most of humanity on this planet.

Because, I know, and I have seen, the love and compassion that we have, and can share, with each other.  I have seen how we can stand up and support each other.  I have seen how we can overcome the divisions that our leaders and media have tried to create in us.  I have seen how we can come together to work for solutions to problems that face us.

So, here we find ourselves in the midst of another holiday season, and the world is once again dipping it’s toes into the pool of world conflict.  We are being led to believe that everyone around us might be our enemy.  We are being led to believe that we are divided, simply because we adhere to a different faith, or we live in a different place, or the color of our skin is different.  And I say, no more!  We have to stop letting the powers that be control our feelings, our actions, our love and kindness for each other.  After all, what power would they have, if they can no longer keep us in fear of each other?

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