Gratitude is a transformative spiritual force. My friend Rev. Kenji Akahoshi from the Buddhist Temple of San Diego often likes to recommend that we move from a mindset of "please" to a mindset of "thank you" That is, we benefit from thinking less about what we do not have, instead remembering all that has been given to us.
As we approach Thanksgiving, I am mindful that not all wealth is material. When I reflect on the course of my life up to this point, it strikes me that I am richer than ever -- if wealth is measured not financially but in terms of the human connections that uphold me materially, emotionally and spiritually. I am the recipient of the love, affection and kindness of a wide circle of people, a circle that has grown over the years. And I am grateful!
On Thanksgiving we are given an opportunity to acknowledge our humble place in the broader scheme of things, to recognize all that sustains us -- the love and affection of our fellow humans, the web of life that maintains the very air we breathe, and the Holy One who loved the world into being.