Dating back I am not sure how many years, each Thanksgiving season I send out a “Note from Ned” highlighting some theme appropriate to this bountiful holiday.
For the people I send it to, I wonder how you react when you see it. Do you yawn and push delete? Do you smile, open, and read? Do you skip past it, intending to come back and open another time?
This gets at our connection. As you likely know by now, I believe positive points of connection make the most powerful force for good in life. They are by and large free, and infinite in supply.
But we have to pick and choose. Because the supply is infinite, no one can tap into as many positive connections as he or she could. Picking and choosing makes for one of life’s most difficult tasks, especially these days, when there is so much more to choose from than ever before.
If you choose to maintain your connection with me, through our podcast, my newsletter, these notes and whatever other ways you and I might stay in touch, I am grateful to you. I give thanks for you. Because, when you choose to connect with me, I gain strength. I try to offer you strength through these missives, but it works both ways. When you choose to open me up via this note, you help me, as I also hope I help you.
Isn’t this the best in life, the chance to help each other, in such simple yet durable ways?
So I give thanks for you. Thanks for being there. I give thanks that we are all alive, and I give thanks for the days we have left to us. I turn 65 next week, so the days left me is a topic I’ve been turning over!
Let us rejoice, give thanks, and sing, as one of my favorite old hymns puts it. Imagine how giddy we’d feel–and perhaps how ridiculous we’d look–if we actually did that? Okay, one, two, three…Rejoice! Give thanks! And sing!
As always, sadness nudges its way into even the most joyful life or day. As my old college professor, William Alfred, used to say to me, “Life is loss.” Loss is hard. Sad. But sad is not bad. Sad can be a form of appreciation of what was good, but is no more. Sad can be a form of love.
And love, that tool too few dare wield, gives us all we need to deepen life and make even its saddest part glow with warmth and meaning.
Be glad for all your loves. Rejoice in them, not only this day but every day. They give us all we need, if we but let them.
Warmest wishes to you all.