Gratefulness is underrated until this time of year and I think that even now, we don't fully comprehend what it means to be grateful. Of course it's easy to understand that to be grateful means to be thankful and you can be thankful for both the good and the bad circumstances of life. However, I want to point out something that I think deserves a great more attention and that is the appreciation or gratefulness for kindness.
I argued with a friend recently about how inappropriate it is to call someone an idiot and he disagreed and thought it was perfectly okay in warranted situations. He made point after point about how if people acted in a certain way then it was okay to portray them in the manner consistent with their actions. While we are free to do that, we also have an alternative course of action. We could choose to show kindness.
Having visited all of the states in our country, except Alaska, I now fully appreciate the kindness of others. I am most grateful for the lady in Salt Lake City, Utah who waited patiently for me to correct myself in traffic after turning the wrong way down the street, even smiling at me through the process. I am grateful for the ferry attendant in Seattle, Washington, who took time to explain the ferry system to me because I had no idea what I was doing while holding up traffic. And I am most grateful for the lady behind the deli at WalMart in Salem, Oregon, who gave me the remainder of a large platter of Salmon fish for $3 after I simply inquired about the price and expressed my feelings that I thought it was too much. All of these are unmerited acts of kindness displayed towards me when I could've easily been characterized as an "idiot."
As I attempt to bring about unity in our country today, it will be important for us to understand that we have every right to humiliate people and call them names if that's what we choose to do. However, what if we showed kindness instead? What would that mean? Well it would mean a great deal, but chief in meaning is that we respect and care for each other and though we may do some things that can be characterized as "idiotic," we are yet valuable and loved by those around us.
Happy Thanksgiving and I am grateful for the kindness you have all shown me.