Thanksgiving reflections

Editorial by Chad Hobbs


 There is a tale of two wolves that goes like this:

One evening, an elderly Cherokee brave told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

 He said, “My son, the battle is between two ‘wolves’ inside us all

 One is evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

 The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.”

 The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather, “Which wolf wins?”

 The old Cherokee simply replied, “The one that you feed.”

 There is also a scripture reading from Titus 3 that I came across the other day in which the Apostle Paul wrote to Titus:

Beloved:

 Remind them to be under the control of the magistrates and authorities, to be obedient, to be open to every good enterprise. They are to slander no one, to be peaceable, considerate, exercising all graciousness toward everyone. For we ourselves were once foolish, disobedient, deluded, slaves to various desires and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful ourselves and hating one another.

 But when the kindness and generous love of God our savior appeared, not because of any righteous deeds we had done but because of his mercy, he saved us through the bath of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he richly poured out on us through Jesus Christ our savior, so that we might be justified by his grace and become heirs in hope of eternal life…I want you to insist on these points, that those who have believed in God be careful to devote themselves to good works; these are excellent and beneficial to others. Avoid foolish arguments, genealogies, rivalries, and quarrels about the law, for they are useless and futile.

  I share these two passages because like myself, hopefully some of you will find that these are words that provide some assistance in regard to where Thanksgiving 2020 finds us. The pandemic, social unrest, the election and government mandates are just a few of the stressors this year has thrown at us.

 It is Thanksgiving, however, and there is a lot to be thankful for. I think many of us, if we turn off our TV, smartphone and social media, let the “experts” take a break, and look around at everything and everyone that surrounds us on a daily basis in our own lives, we will find we have quite a lot to be thankful for.

 That is not to say everything is perfect in our lives, but it’s often not near as bad as we allow outside influences and voices to make us think it is. Which wolf are we feeding: anger, arrogance, resentment and pride or love, hope, humility and kindness?

 What separates great golfers, surgeons or entrepreneurs from bad ones? It is not talent as much as it is their mindset.

 It has been a rough year, but when I think of my grandmother, I look at my son and realize maybe I ought to be just a little more thankful.

 I’m not loading him up in the back of a pickup truck with racks along with everything we and our family own, to travel across early 1900’s America because the economy had completely collapsed due to the Great Depression. I’m not living in a tent city like she did during that time, hoping my dad and the other men with me get selected to pick citrus just so we can survive.

 I’m thankful for my friends, family and the roof I have over my head, I’m thankful for not knowing hunger, as so many do today. And I am thankful for all of you who read this newspaper, which allows me to put bread on my table doing this job I love (even though some of you may not always like what I have to say).

 Whether this Thanksgiving finds you quarantined by yourself, stationed overseas, in a small gathering, or in a large group participating in a turkey “funeral”, I hope you have a healthy, blessed day in whatever setting you ultimately choose. I also hope that the two selections at the beginning of this article will bring you the powerful perspective that they brought me, whether interacting with those we are surrounded by this holiday or just taking a look in the mirror. Which wolf will you feed?

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