Suzanne and I recently saw the Spike Lee movie Blackkklansman. The movie is so overpowering that in the last few scenes, I was all but gasping for air. It is indeed a movie that should be seen. A couple of days later, I was telling a friend and fellow volunteer at the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum about the film. She is Jewish and I was telling her how unabashedly Spike Lee shows not only the brutality of racism against blacks but also the anti-Semitism depicted in the movie. My friend is close to my age and I found myself warning her about the vividness of the hatred and bigotry depicted.
Later I thought how naïve I must have sounded warning her that it might be difficult for her to watch.
I also began to think about how lucky I am, and that I should more often stop and be aware, no not aware, openly, completely aware of who and what I am and what I have been given. I need to feel immense Gratitude.
So here is my start: This is how fortunate I am. – I am a white male, born in the USA. I have loved women and been loved by them. I have two sons that I love and I know they love me. I have two grandchildren that I love and I know they love me. I live with a wonderful woman that is my complete partner in everything I do. I love her and she loves me. I am, to the best of my knowledge in good health. I survived being in a war and I came home without physical wounds. I have been able to find grace from the mental trauma that all men and women face having experienced war. I had a good formal education and as a result, I was able to have a career that I very much enjoyed. I have a safe place to live. It keeps me warm in the winter and cool in the summer. I have plenty of healthy food to eat, health insurance, more than enough clothing and a car that gets me where I want to go. I have enough money to meet more than my needs. I have wonderfully supportive friends. I have two dogs that are great companions. My brain continues to work well and I enjoy writing, hiking, reading, and volunteering. There are many things I’m sure that I’ve forgotten, but I plan to try and remember them and I will be grateful.
One last thought. When I was in Vietnam, one of the silly things I remember was wanting to have a glass of clear water, filled with ice and in a crystal clean glass. A month after I returned to the states and a hundred glasses of iced water in a clean glass, I lost sight of that gratitude. Now I try to hang on a bit tighter to everything I’m grateful for.
A quote from Elie Wiesel –For me, every hour is grace. And I feel gratitude in my heart
each time I can meet someone and look at his or her smile.
Go Well and feel gratitude, David