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Curmudgeon's Corner

cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner

Thoughts For the Season

Quality of Life, People Making A Difference

I read a quotation a few days ago that stuck with me.  The quotation is that of Arthur E. Morgan and it follows:

“Lack of something to feel important about is almost the greatest tragedy a man may have.”

I have given quite a bit of thought to that quotation over these past few days.  It has caused me to wonder how it must feel to be devoid of anything about which one might have some pride of accomplishment.  No matter how big or how small an accomplishment, to have not one thing about which to feel important is a great individual tragedy.

I wonder if that is as much a statement about how some of us cannot see that we have a worth to others as it is that some of us simply cannot see that we have accomplished anything of importance.

I think about children who have not had a happy home in which they were nurtured and celebrated by their father and/or mother.  I think about the homeless and destitute who have no time for thinking about such things as accomplishments they have made; they think about where they’ll sleep and if they’ll awaken from that sleep...if they think about such things at all.  I think about those confined in prison cells forgotten or ignored by any family they might have had; or those who are institutionalized for various psychological disorders.

I think about those in abusive relationships whose self-worth has been stripped from them over the years.  I think about those who live in foreign lands where there is only the daily quest for food and water.  I think about those who have given their lives over to drugs and for whom only the next hit is important.  I think about the person whose errant driving caused another to lose his or her life.  I think about those who believe they have done something so horrific that they can never be forgiven. 

I also think about how each of us has the opportunity to help those we encounter each and every day by letting them know when we think they’ve done something worthy of praise.  That might be something as easy as complimenting a retail clerk for their help or thanking the person who bags your grocery purchases.  It might be a comment to a business person about how their establishment has helped you.  It might be that simple smile for a person you don’t know.

I think about the wonderful life I have been so fortunate to have lived and about all that I am thankful for as the Thanksgiving celebration arrives.  I think about all those who have helped me over the years and lament that I had not made the effort to thank each of them before they were laid to rest.  I think about those whom I know and about whom I am concerned for whatever the reason.

But, even as much as I am now more aware of the need to give out those pats on the back, I fall short on some days.  I am so full of my own thoughts that I don’t seem to always have enough time to think of others and their needs.

As are most of us, I am a work in progress…and I am very thankful about that “in progress” part at this Thanksgiving time of year.  That is much more to be thankful for than would be a work whose progress has ceased.

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