The Lord gives everything and then charges
By taking it back. What a bargain.
Like being young for a while.
These are the opening lines of Jack Gilbert’s poem The Lost Hotels of Paris. It was written while he was already beginning to experience the onset of dementia. The Lord gave Gilbert everything: stunningly good looks, an adventurous life, a piercing insight, and the words and sensibility needed to convey his experience in great
Archive for November 24th, 2011
The Lord gives everything and then charges
For millions of Americans, this Thanksgiving will require people to dig deep within themselves in order to truly give thanks. The spiritual teaching on gratitude, celebrated in great style on Thanksgiving, is not an easy one to follow if you are homeless, broke, sick without health insurance or have exhausted hope that things are going to get better anytime soon.
A classic statement on giving thanks is the first verse of Psalm 118, “Thank God for He is good, for His kindness endures forever.” The implications of this verse are clear. No matter what, God is always good and is worthy of receiving our thanks.
In a world filled with suffering, this is not an easy verse to wrap our heads
This Thanksgiving, I am doubly thankful. The day falls on the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Tegh Bahadur, the ninth Sikh Guru, who sacrificed his life for the protection of a people under brutal religious persecution. We cherish this principle in the United States today: “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.”
In 1675, some prominent Brahmins (the highest caste Hindus) sought Guru Tegh Bahadur’s help. The Mughal emperor was forcibly converting them to Islam under the threat of torturous
Thanksgiving is my absolute favorite day of the year. The way I do it, it has all the advantages of a holiday with none of the oppressive side-effects. There are no presents, so there is no guilt or financial stress. The food is wonderful and comforting (with lots of
by Wendy Gordon, pioneerin the green consumer movement.
Thanksgiving dinner is a rare American meal, and not just because it’s an annual event celebrated with family and friends, but also because this day of gratitude tends to spin off the yummiest leftovers, so thankfully little ends up as food scraps.
That’s not the case for the other 364 days of eating we do. In fact, according to OnEarth.org, a whopping 96 billion pounds of uneaten food are thrown out–253 pounds per American–every year.
That’s about 1,400 calories per day per person, the equivalent of two full meals for each of us, explains Laura Wright Treadway. We send somewhere between 30 and 40 percent of all edible food produced, bought, and sold in this country to landfills and incinerators.
Sure, food is wasted starting on the farm: Annually, approximately 7 percent of crops goes unharvested. And, as Dumpster-diver Jeremy Siefert documents in his new film Dive!, food retail stores–groceries and supermarkets–throw out so much fresh food, he was able to feed his family of four quite well on the pickings of trash containers behind Trader Joe’s
No, Jean Dujardin says, he wasn’t a particular fan of silent films before he made The Artist. He hadn’t watched one in years, until director Michel Hazanavicius turned him on to the work of F.W. Murnau and King Vidor, as preparation for the film.
“There was such ease in the direction – I had this sense of wonder about how they filmed it,” Dujardin, 39, says, sitting in the library lounge of the Trump Soho. “My favorite is King Vidor’s The
By Ambassador Ertharin Cousin, U.S. Ambassador, and Tony Hall, former Ambassador, UN Agencies for Food and Agriculture, Rome, Italy
As we celebrate Thanksgiving today, we ponder all the things we are thankful for: the joy our family brings us, our good health, the people we love, our jobs, and the wealth of food on the tables in front of us. It is a time when we Americans take a minute to consider our many privileges and opportunities.
In our country, when parents cannot feed their children, community and government programs will catch them. But this is not so for families facing hunger in far too many countries around the world.
Thanksgiving is also an occasion to stop for just a minute, and think of them as well.
As former and current
I suggested it was time for the 9.5-year-old to make her list for Santa.
She wiggled two fingers on each hand — air quotes – and said, “Santa?”
“Whoa,” I said. “You don’t think there is a Santa?”
“What about the cookies that disappeared on Christmas Eve? What about those big black boot prints that led from the fireplace to the coffee table?”
“Your sacred mother? No way!”
“Okay, I do lie,” I said. “But only about the quality of books written by my friends.”
Easy for the kid to say — for her, air quotes about Santa also express how much she believes in our little
“Abundance can be had simply by consciously receiving what has already been given.” — Sufi Saying
As a “happiness expert” (as I’m sometimes called), people often ask me, “If you had to pick just one thing that could make me happier right now, what would it be?”
I’m always tempted to make jokes about sex and yoga — or maybe a glass of wine.
Glib responses aside, those of us who teach happiness for a living have some ready answers to this question. Sonja Lybomirsky, author of “The How of Happiness,” picks exercise as the best instant happiness booster. Martin Seligman, author of “Authentic Happiness” and “Flourishing,” recommends acts of kindness.
Knowing the research, I’m sold on the happiness-boosting properties of both exercise and
EXTRA! EXTRA! Read all about it: New study finds 70-year-olds have worse memory than 20-year-olds!
No, I’m not trying to invoke the wrath of social science skeptics and budget-slashing politicians everywhere. Yes, I realize this reads like a potential case study in how researchers waste time and money exploring the obvious. But the next time critics try to tell you that psychology is merely the commonsense study of that which we already know, tell them to look more closely.
Indeed, the headline above tells only part of the story of a new study just published by two researchers in my own department at Tufts University, Ayanna Thomas and Stacey Dubois. They found that a sample of older adults (average age: 70) performed significantly worse on a memory task than a sample of college students (average age:
During the holidays most of us want to spend time with friends and family, while at the same time avoiding the negative comments and unnecessary disagreements that often come with these celebrations. Here are my five rules on what to say/not say to loved ones during holiday gatherings. Follow these rules to help avoid problems or conflicts with everyone from your significant other to your in-laws.
1) Say what you like, not what you don’t. Be
The latest “Twilight” movie, “Breaking Dawn,” is already breaking records. Young fans clamored and camped out on dirty sidewalks for hours (even days) to make it to last week’s midnight premiere. Walking past one such line, I noticed a father dropping off a shrieking group of dressed up 15-year-old girls from a stretched hummer, rented just for the occasion. For many, the anticipation of attending a “Twilight” premiere is likened to that of preparing for a high school
I love Thanksgiving for its illusion of abundance. It brings back early childhood memories of the one day each year during the Depression when the food on my family’s table was not the leftover produce that my Uncle Leon could no longer sell at his stall, or the nearly spoiled organ meats that our local butcher offered at a steep discount.
But Thanksgiving day was quite the opposite, and while I obviously can’t recall what was served in 1936, the year I was born, the holiday was soon seared into my childhood memory as the day when the good times looked upon us in the form of charity gift baskets from philanthropists of various religious and political orders, much like the needy will be served today in volunteer kitchens across America and just as soon will be forgotten.
It did not take long before I was old enough to realize that the largesse of Thanksgiving was the rare exception, and that “just getting by,” as my mother’s brave optimism would have it, was the norm. Getting by, thanks to Mom’s piecework in the downtown sweatshops and my mechanic father’s signing on to one of the New Deal’s public jobs programs.
Then came the economic miracle of World War II, dismissed in its day by some Republicans as Franklin Roosevelt’s treachery, and my parents and other relatives got their jobs
I asked my daughter, “What’s your favorite thing about Thanksgiving?”
She answered in one exuberant word, “Eating!”
Eating. While many celebrate by eating together on Thanksgiving, far too many children in our nation (nearly 1 in 4) live in families who are struggling to put food on the table because of poverty.
And for them, this Thanksgiving will be a tough one.
So now is certainly not the time to throw even more families into
Happy Thanksgiving, HuffPosters! There is much to be thankful for this year. I’m thankful that the UC Davis police are not in charge of security at our offices. I’m thankful that Herman Cain doesn’t oversee HR here, that the supercommittee isn’t responsible for determining our editorial budget, and that Mayor Bloomberg hasn’t paid a visit to our nap rooms (he might find them a “health and fire safety hazard”). I’m thankful my daughters are home from college for the
Sometimes my students ask me why I became a teacher. No simple answer really. It was a combination of things, probably starting when, though I am three-and-a-half years younger than my brother, I became the older brother. I’m not sure when exactly that happened but by the Thanksgiving of 1966, I was already looking after him.
I was, of course, also looking out for myself and looking out for our
“The last few weeks have been especially hectic,” I told my older son recently, when we had our regular phone conversation to bridge the distance between West Coast and East. “Do I say that every week,” I wondered. He, too, is increasingly busy, as are so many of the people around us. When do we take the time to stop and think? During this period of economic frustration and limited political horizons, when do we allow ourselves to feel gratitude for what we do have? For example, I am so grateful for those conversations with my son, and for knowing that he is having similar conversations with my
Once you get passed family, friends, health, the troops, freedom and a few other obvious and heartfelt points of gratitude, you have to dig a little these days to find things to be thankful for.
It’s very tough, for example, to be thankful for political leaders compressed into inaction by hidebound ideology at one end, and well-heeled special interests on the other.
It’s tough to be thankful for an economic system that continues to be so easily manipulated with such destructive and enduring consequences.
It’s tough to be thankful for our institutions of respect, when they keep proving themselves unworthy of it.
I think we can, however, be thankful for each other.
The worst of our instincts gets the most of our attention.
But we are essentially good people living in an essentially good country; often fallible, but more often first in line to help; often venal, but more often likely do the right thing.
On levels that are easier to access some days than others, I think we believe that.
I think we have an indestructible hope that as bad as things get, if we work hard enough and talk long enough, we’ll find our way out of the forest.
It’s who we are. And I’m thankful for that.
This Blogger’s Books from
Our Fathers, Ourselves: Daughters, Fathers, and the Changing American Family
by Peggy Drexler
Raising Boys Without Men: How Maverick Moms Are Creating the Next Generation of Exceptional Men
by Peggy Drexler, Linden Gross
read full news from www.huffingtonpost.com
I’ve learned that it’s especially important for those who are always trying to change the world, to remember what they are thankful for in their world as it is!
First I am thankful to God for his or her patience with us. Thankful that despite how much we human beings (perhaps especially we religious believers), so often disappoint, embarrass, and even hurt God with the things we say and do — even in God’s name; that God still continues to love us, forgive us, and call us to act more like God’s children, who should live together like brothers and sisters.
I am thankful to Jesus, who seems to have survived all of us Christians who name his name. Thankful that he is still so popular all over the world, even when Christians are, well, are not so much. But I’m also thankful for when Christians or others actually do the things that Jesus said, love their neighbors and even their enemies, just as he taught us to do, and when we do treat “the least of these” in the same way that we would treat
This Thanksgiving, with national division everywhere, I’m going to be thinking about the bad guys, villains and adversaries, battles and conflict. I’m going to be thinking about my own dark side, and the suffering it can create when unacknowledged and unchecked. This is actually quite in keeping with the original spirit of Thanksgiving, a holiday of unity created in its modern form by Abraham Lincoln at the height of a bitter American Civil War.
Who is the villain of Occupy Wall Street? Some might say Mayor Michael Bloomberg, or Mayor Jean Quan of Oakland, both of whom ordered large paramilitary raids on peaceful
On this Thanksgiving of 2011, America is at a crossroads. Overall civility in politics and society is at an all-time low. Political leaders, placing party and re-election over doing the right thing, are not creating meaningful or sustainable policies. American businesses are not
Ah, Thanksgiving. Savory food, family… and that pesky relative with a PhD in Fox News that keeps needling you to the point where you can’t even enjoy Cousin Chrissy’s carrot souffl. [All references are to actual dishes at my family table! Also, usual disclaimer and Thanksgiving tidings to my bros-in-law — Jim, Clint, Sean, Andy,
As you are preparing to gather around the Thanksgiving table, the Republican majority in Congress is rushing to push through legislation that will undermine the continued health and safety of the loved ones seated next to you. Over the next two weeks they will bring three bills to the House floor that will halt regulation as we know it, making it more difficult to protect public health and safety. Nobody likes red tape and everyone can agree that there are areas where our regulations could be streamlined. However, these bills go much further and will make it virtually impossible to enact new regulations or fine-tune existing