GLASS HALF FULL
This is one of my favorite times of the year. Ah! The holiday season. Time to take it a bit easy, spend time with your family and friends, reflect on the past year, make some resolutions to improve myself in the coming year (and beyond), and help those who are less fortunate.
Sometimes, as I listen to the news now-a-days, it seems that usually the focus is on all the negatives – bad economy, grid-locked congress, rising national debt, vitriol-filled political attack ads, violent and hate crimes, Euro-crisis, Arab Spring like protests everywhere we look.
So let us step back and be thankful and grateful for the good things that we do have:
Iraq War is Over: Yesterday I was watching a special on ABC’s 20/20 about Troops returning home. We have ended a major war in Iraq and all of our troops are home. Although we have been fighting two major wars abroad – in Iraq and in Afghanistan for past several years, most of us are too far removed from it to feel any pain. After all there is no war tax, no shortage of goods here, no real sacrifices that most of us have to endure. By contrast, these troops and their families, friends, and relatives have made a huge sacrifice in defending our country and fighting against evil. They had put their lives on the line for us, they put their lives on hold, left their families including young children for months or years on end to fight a war on foreign soil under difficult conditions.
We are thankful that they are home now with their families and for their enormous sacrifice. And when we come across them during our daily chores, let us talk to them, express our gratitude and try to learn more about what they did, where they had been. Many war veterans feel kind of disconnected when they come home – that we are disconnected from the war, and not interested to learn more about Iraq or Afghanistan or what they did. Let us make them feel welcome and make them feel at home. And if any of you are hiring, give them a chance to get back into civilian life.
The Grass Greener on this Side: In all of the talks about debt, and economic slow-down facing us, we often harp on the negatives, but forget all of the good things we have. I often remind people when they are complaining in general about how tough their lives are (and my family hates me when I do it to them), that there will be millions of people who will happily trade their lives for you. After all we can move about in the streets and express ourselves without fear of being shot, arrested or tortured. Our economy is still more robust than many other countries, our schools are still better than those in most other countries, and I feel that USA is still the most open country where anyone, irrespective of their ethnicity, economic or social status can still make it with hard work and determination. And USA still has the best college education system I feel of anywhere.
We can Still Dream of Better Tomorrow: I think no situation is worse than someone in a situation where the future is bleak and there is no hope of better days. And there are lot of countries and places where people are in dire situation and they have nothing to look forward to. Fortunately for us in the USA, it is still possible to have our dreams, and we can always hold on to our beliefs that tomorrow can be better, that the future can be brighter, if only we can work harder and smarter.
So let us be thankful in this holiday season for the blessings and things we have received, be compassionate and helpful to those who are less fortunate and continue to foster and work towards our dreams to make not only our lives, but the lives of those who are not so fortunate better through our words and actions.
Wish all of you a very happy holiday season and the very best for the new year.