Sometimes Gratitude Isn't Enough

From the  Za'atari project

Sometimes gratitude isn't enough.

I had this idea to post notes of gratitude all week to share with the world. I thought it would be a sweet way to enter a season that invokes warmth, family, love, delicious food, and celebration. I am a huge fan of gratitude. I live an incredibly blessed life and my appreciation for that resounds in my heart constantly. I have also seen the ways that experiencing and remembering to be grateful for our blessings, even if we have to stretch to remember what those blessings are, is indeed a way of pulling ourselves from the trenches and getting into the light of life's grace.

Lately I have been very focused, thinking and praying about a lot of people in the world right now, regular folks like you and me with kids they love 'til their hearts bust, and jobs they invest themselves in, and passions that make them soar, and faults that make them human. I've been thinking about those who have recently been forced to leave their homes and become refugees. There are many horrors in the world; this particular flight of an entire nation propelled by climate change-fueled warfare while being turned away by the rest of the world has loudly captured my heart's attention.

As I consider what it would be like to be in such unfathomable loss and fear with no end, no promise of safety, comfort, and stability in sight, of course I am catapulted into remarkable thankfulness for my own safety, I pull my little one closer, and thank every lucky star in an endless universe for landing us in the right place at the right time to have avoided such horrors. But that ritual of feeling grateful for the sacred safety and comforts that we all hold dear has not led me to the settled contentment it normally does. Now it feels too shocking, too stark to be reminded that so many, many, many deserving, loving, thinking, feeling, vulnerable human beings are in constant trauma and danger while so many of us sit in extreme comfort and privilege day after day. I have been spending my days trying to figure out how to do more to serve the world's most disadvantaged people, because my gratitude for my blessings simply isn't enough.

Our gratitude and our personal work do remain important. The more functional, effective, and successful we are as individuals ripples out exponentially in the world by fostering our ability to give more - of our time, our resources, our energy, our brilliance and ability to create solutions and solve problems - and so that does help others. But in this season, I want to do more, I want to inspire others to do more, and I want to explore that together. What can we be doing in our own homes and communities and nations to make the world a safer, more loving, more fair, equitable, peaceful, livable, cooperative place? What can we be doing RIGHT NOW to serve those who are in the most desperate need at this time? I welcome all thoughts and feedback. I want to start a dialogue. Tell me - how would you solve the most dire of our problems?

Thank you for sharing your wisdom and being willing to open to exploration with me.

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