12 October 2009

55 Days - What Shall We Be Thankful For?

It's Thanksgiving Day in Canada. I remember becoming mysteriously homesick in October when I was an exchange student in Belgium many years ago. Then I received a Thanksgiving letter from my mother and realized what I'd been subconsciously missing.

So what can we be thankful for in Canada in 2009?

I know what we're NOT thankful for. Our not-very-prime minister, who still thinks the economy and re-election are more important than giving his children a chance at a future. The tar sands in Alberta, our national disgrace. (For heaven's sake — or Earth's sake — leave the bitumen in the ground as a carbon sink!) The rather pervasive Canadian attitude that we would rather die comfortable than live miserable (an admission from someone I met recently). That attitude surely is held only by people who can't conceive of how wonderful a renewable energy-powered world will be.

But we are thankful for people — climate heroes — like UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and Al Gore, climate scientists James Hansen and John Holdren, Glenn MacIntosh of ecoSanity.org in Toronto (who keeps us sane and inspired; thanks, Glenn!), and all the children of the world, of all species, who remind us why we're doing the climate work that we do.

We are grateful for our fresh water, our food security, our fresh corn and ripe apples, our peace and our prosperity, our luck and our timing. We are so very blessed — most of us, at least — in this country, and it's a shame that we aren't more compassionate towards those less fortunate around the world.

If you don't celebrate a thanksgiving holiday in your country or culture, give it a try yourself, with your family. Acknowledge your blessings, and work to change what vexes you and the Earth. For a place to start, visit GreenHeart Education's Saying Grace Together and Graces and Prayers for the Earth.

Happy Thanksgiving!

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?