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On This, Thanksgiving Day

joe-mauricio

By: Joe Mauricio

 

In these days of political controversies, impeachment hearings and wild accusations, Thanksgiving offers the warm embrace of inclusiveness, particularly for many ethnic groups whose families and faiths want to feel American and accepted in this country. This is the current political air as we are facing Thanksgiving 2019.

On deeper thought, we all know people who tend to see the sorrows but seldom the joys, who tend to blame others because of jealousy, blame others for every misfortune, while never accepting their own responsibilities when things go wrong. These are not just negative people. These are unhappy people.

On Thanksgiving, we have to realize and to be sure, life isn’t always fair! It isn’t always easy no one makes it through without hardship, pain, and injustice. That’s just an inevitable part of the journey.

But almost 2000 years ago, the Greek philosopher Epictetus wrote, “It’s not what happens to you but how you react to it that matters.” If we could only leave one piece of advice to our children, that just might be it.

Well, let’s make it two pieces of advice. “Be grateful…Recognize all the blessings you have and give thanks to them and/or for them.” We aren’t owed any of it. All of it is a gift.

In the end, it’s not the blessings that make you happy. It’s the thankfulness. Money brings luxuries, options and access that poverty withholds. Destitution imposes real hardship.

But the origin of Thanksgiving is steeped in hardship. Death and disease welcomed the Pilgrims prior to that first feast in 1621. President Lincoln officially established the holiday during a devastating Civil War.

We know people of means who struggle despite their fortunes to find happiness, and we know people who are beset by misfortune who nevertheless live their lives in joy.

We, in the Filipino American community of Chicago, especially the Via Times/CPRTV management and staff, are very grateful for the historic success of our Chicago Filipino Asian American Hall of Fame Silver Anniversary and Grand Reunion just recently held last November 9, 2019, the day that we have honored outstanding and distinguished Filipinos, Asians and Friends throughout the world for the last 25 years, and also the day that marked the culmination of the celebration of the Filipino American History Month in October.

Thanksgiving or not, if you want to be happy, always be grateful. Happy Thanksgiving to all! ##

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