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Tom Pile - Running Dog Music

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Filtering by Tag: gratitude

Gratitude

...seems to be in short supply most of the time. Robert and I saw the Peter Tunney billboard on the Major Deagan the other day and it got me to thinking.

It isn't a sentiment that's often out in front. There's so much that can get in the way of a simple expression of thanks. Responsibility. Pride. Inattention. Worry. Regret.

We've seen more than the usual share of destruction and deprivation in our world lately. Disaster, hostility, and suffering are everywhere. And yet, a second look reveals neighbor reaching out to help neighbor, kind souls sheltering strangers, young and old lending their hands and backs to rescue and cleanup operations.

This time of year is special, no matter what else is going on in the world, because we're reminded to take that extra moment to say, "Thank you." To our families and friends who stand by us. To our partners and clients who help us keep a roof over our heads. To the men and women who protect us and defend us. To those who go out at any hour in all weather to save lives, fix what's broken, and keep watch when things get rough.

So again: Thank you.

Let's Get Small

I'm all for austerity.

Spend less, reduce clutter, get rid of stuff that holds you down, take only what you can use, relinquish attachments—all are worthy objectives. These are guiding principles for my personal life, and also for my political views, since the personal is political. Like they say: think globally, but act locally. I vote for smaller government, less waste and excess, more responsible conservation of resources, and more caution when considering the rights of individuals to make up their own minds. Less is more. 

I'm serious. Let's get small. Really small. Let's take up less space. Let's let go of the idea that bigger is better. Let's give up on that old American dream of wealth and prosperity for all. It is not sustainable. It only works when there's a third world -- an "under" world -- to supply us with our gadgets and material wants. Guess what? The third world watches Dallas and Real Housewives and American Idol on TV, too, and they want what we have. Who's going to supply them? 

Yes, they've been watching. They want their MTV and their Starbucks and their KFC. They want their burgers and fries. They want their big houses and stylish clothes. Trouble is, there's no room at the table any more. If all 9 billion citizens of the world lived like the typical American family, we'd all be drowning in pig shit and choking on fumes.

We can't pretend that we can turn the clock back to a time of innocence when the future was all bright and rosy, and everything seemed possible. Those who look to reinstate the Glory Days are in for disappointment and disillusionment. The American Century is over. Anyone who has looked closely knows that it wasn't all that glorious anyway. 

We're in a new century now. Let's promote some different American values, some values for the future and for the world.

Let's start small: 

Share.

Try to be kind.

Say thank you more often.

Play more.

Talk to dogs and small children. You will learn something every time.

Honor your elders, but question authority every time.

Work hard. Eat well.

While we're on the subject, less meat is not such a bad idea.

Plan for the future, remember the past.

Live in the present.

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