Blog: A Thanksgiving Story - 2012-11-22
Thanksgiving apparently means a lot of different things to different people. What it represents to me is a day of peace where one may reflect on the positives one considers blessed to have experienced. It seems to me that how much one has to be thankful for is influenced largely by one's viewpoint and outlook on life. L. Ron Hubbard noted in the Ability Congress lectures that when one focuses on the negative (disability) one gets more negatives and conversely when one focuses on the positive (ability) one gets more positives. Viktor Frankl bestowed a little gift along the same line of reasoning in Man's Search for Meaning:
...Can life retain its potential meaning in spite of its tragic aspects? After all, 'saying yes to life in spite of everything', to use the phrase in which the title of a German book of mine is couched, presupposes that life is potentially meaningful under any conditions, even those which are most miserable. And this in turn presupposes the human capacity to creatively turn life's negative aspects into something positive or constructive. In other words, what matters is to make the best of any given situation. "The best", however, is that which in Latin is called optimum - hence the reason I speak of a tragic optimism, that is, an optimism in the face of tragedy and in view of the human potential which at is best always allows for: (1) turning suffering into a human achievement and accomplishment, (2) deriving from guilt the opportunity to change oneself for the better; and (3) deriving from life's transitoriness an incentive to take responsible action.
I am very fortunate to be spending this Thanksgiving, as I have the past seven of them, with someone who demonstates these virtues like no one else I know: