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Hope and Gratitude in Troubling Times

If you watch or read the news these days, you know there’s a lot that’s not good – the planet and all of the beings that call Earth home are suffering from climate change, division, war, the increasing gap between the rich and poor. chronic disease, pandemics…the list goes on and on.

I’ve recently been seeking out documentaries and stories of hope and change for the better. I also joined the local Rotary Club, because the organization and its members make positive contributions to the community, and stand for the same values that I try to live by. Despite all of the differences we have, we're all connected via our humanity. We're all on this human experience together. We all experience joy and pain, love and loss, tragedy and triumph. We all have demons that plague us, and love that saves us. There are times that beat us down, and people who lift us up. Just as there is suffering in the world, there is hope in the human spirit that allows us to rise up and survive the turmoil and pain. Even though we’ll have dark moments, we have an amazing capacity to love, to forgive, and to persevere.

The universal language that allows us to express this to each other is love and compassion. Sharing a smile with a stranger, providing a helping hand when another is in need, or having a difficult conversation from a place of empathy and understanding are all ways to practice compassion. Where does our resilience and tenacity come from, and how do we feed it? How do we nourish the light within us so that we can overcome the darkness, and not fall victim to the hate that can consume and destroy us? There is beauty around us every day, but it requires being open to seeing it. Being aware.

Gratitude is a great way to practice noticing the good. Every Friday, I’m posting a question about something that you’re grateful for on Firefly's social media accounts. If you haven't already noticed them and started answering, check them out on either Facebook or Instagram. Put your answers in the comments. I'll continue these posts through November. By taking time to focus on gratitude, perhaps you'll start to experience more happiness. Maybe you start a daily gratitude practice, and bring more positivity to your days, weeks, and months. My hope is that by the end of the three months, it becomes a habit to look for and notice the good things that are happening around you. I hope this burst of gratitude brightens your Fall.

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