It is impossible to watch the footage of Japan’s tragic disaster without saying a prayer. The lost souls and their survivors need our prayers. Those injured or awaiting word on missing loved ones need our prayers. Those left to rebuild their lives, homes, communities, and country will need our prayers for strength and courage.
And it is impossible to comprehend the magnitude of this event without saying a prayer of thanks for our own lives. The bitching and moaning I’ve done this winter makes me ashamed. Temperatures of -35 with the wind chill, record snowfalls, and dark, dreary days try one’s patience, mental health, and fortitude but they rarely kill anyone. This prairie girl understands and appreciates anew the blessed life we lead in Canada. We are enjoying a politically stable government that protects and provides for us, a climate without extremes, and all the opportunities we can grab. We are safe in every sense of the word.
Counting blessings becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. One blessing begets another. Gratitude and appreciation are catchy. So in that vein, we say ?Thank you? to God or our genes or Lady Luck that our health is good. we’re not going for chemo. we’re not losing our faculties to Alzheimer’s disease. And even when we have challenges or are going for treatments, the odds are in our favour. Medical research, growing awareness, and a climate of open sharing have shown us we are not alone, no matter what we face. Together we are stronger.
Next our inventory takes us to our friends and family, those people who, despite knowing all our deepest, darkest, worst qualities, love us anyway and will go to the wall for us. Naturally we reciprocate because we, too, want to be on someone’s blessing list. These are the people who call us when we’re down, put their well-chosen words into cards, and take our side against a sometimes cruel world. After good health is there anything more vital to our well-being than someone to love and someone to love us? didn’t think so.
If we allow ourselves to continue counting, we can be grateful that we are not Charlie Sheen or Gadhafi. We are glad we can rail against the government without chaining ourselves to a tank or becoming target practice for the militia. We haven’t endured a lifetime of corrupt dictatorship where succession is guaranteed by bloodlines instead of elections.
Finally, we thank our blessed life for the chances we get and keep getting to live, work, contribute, excel, and fulfill our potential. We can stumble, fall, flame out, and start all over again?because no one is counting and there is no limit to fresh starts. So when we feel sorry for ourselves because our foundation feels shaky or we’re nearly upended by a wave of disappointment, we can say a prayer for those who really suffer. Then breathing a whispered ?Thank you? might be a good thing, from where I sit.