Another friend tells the story of being deep within a family of alcoholics. She recalls putting her mother to bed while she was in a total stupor and says most of her family is gone now, but will tell you she misses them, despite the abuse that occurred during her young life. She still has her mom, who gave up alcohol after a long struggle, and she shares a good relationship with her. For this, she is thankful.
Another story revolves a family of obesity. It seemed everyone in the family struggled with weight. Even the toddlers were heavy. High fat and carb meals were dominant three times a day. Food was used for comfort, or when they were sad, happy, tired or celebrating. Food had become the most important part of their world. Even in a family like this there is sadness, depression and its own kind of dysfunctionality. And then one member made a decision. She would stop the cycle and through a two- year journey began making wise food decisions. It changed not only her life, but those of her family. For this she is thankful.
What I find interesting is despite the dysfunctionality of any family, life goes on! Lives can be depressing, horror filled, diseased, or pained from bad decisions and circumstances. But ultimately decisions can be made that are right and good, giving reason to be thankful.
Our country just saw a new President elected. While most of us are not related to the presidential family, we are still united as a country who wants to grow and change into something good and right. In a way, we are a “kind” of family, in that we are Americans. This fact sets apart from being British, French, or any other nationality. We are distinctly Americans. This gives us reason to be thankful!
Are we as a country, dysfunctional? Absolutely! There are so many different kinds of opinions, religions, skin colors, classes, abilities and any number of differences, but we are still part of one huge group of people, that in ways that count, want the same thing! We certainly have the ability to strive for our goals in any variety of ways, but we can work toward that end. We share different likes and dislikes, strengths and weaknesses, but as a country this makes us stronger. This is reason to be thankful.
So I challenge you to think of all the “families” you belong to. There is your biological family, work family, neighborhood, community, sports families, national parties, special interest parties, and so many others. Can you see the differences and still see the good? This is reason to be thankful!