By Simon Appolloni, Editorial Director
As our neighbours to the south prepare to give thanks this weekend, I am reminded of a book Novalis published some time ago, a book that is perhaps even more relevant today: Radical Gratitude, by Mary Jo Leddy (2002). Much of the discussion during the American election, it is safe to say, was about ‘loss’, or should I say, in many instances, ‘perceived loss’: loss of American greatness, loss of jobs to non-Americans, loss of status for white Americans, and loss of safety for U.S. citizens due to immigration.
I am not saying that, certainly for the poor and arguably for some middle class Americans, the recent past has not being challenging. But given the breadth and scope of malaise we have witnessed during this election, I think some soul searching, putting things into context is in order.
This is why Mary Jo Leddy’s message is so apposite for us (and I include Canadians, and all industrialized Western nations in this too). We need to show more gratitude, as the perceived dissatisfaction bred into us by politicians, and advertisers has become soul-destroying and dispiriting. Gratitude has this ability to bridge the gulf between our spiritual and material concerns. As Leddy clearly lays out, gratitude arises in that place where our deepest longings find the glass of life to be half-full rather than half-empty.
Before we complain about our woes, real as some of them may be, we must put them within context of our blessings. Relative to a world where 100s of millions lack one or more of the necessities of life, from safe drinking water to education, we should seize upon this time to see our glass in North America as hall-full.