YOU ARE HERE: LAT HomeCollections

HEARTS OF THE CITY | Navigating the Real World

November 27, 1996|K. CONNIE KANG, Times staff writer

Today's question: Do you have a special way of counting your blessings on Thanksgiving? Can you suggest a helpful way to have a grateful heart for those who may feel that they don't have much to be thankful for?

Miriyam Glazer

Director, Dortort Writers Institute, University of Judaism

Because the people I most love are so far away, I easily tumble into melancholy at Thanksgiving. I have to consciously choose an inward "turning" and take an action that reawakens feelings of recognition, gratitude and love. So I bake pies. Pie making evokes memories of my mother's pies, of bounty and warmth, of quirky family lore we laughed so heartily about over the years. Making pies for others makes me less alone. Sometimes all we can be grateful for is our capacity for such an inward turning, for the stubborn, courageous spirit within us that chooses life in the face of hardship, and that keeps kindled the quiet faith that if we just keep at it, our lives will get better.

Father John P. Daly

Director, Center for Asian Business, Loyola Marymount University

Begin the day feeling alive, seeing the sights around us, hearing sounds, smelling, tasting, feeling. Give a quiet amen, a yes to these gifts that fill our souls and hearts with daily gifts of gladness. Recall our loved ones--spouses, children, mom and dad, friends at work, friends at play. How great are these persons in our lives. Then count your possessions--the car, old or new, the house, your suits and shoes, books and CDs, watches, old letters, snapshots, the faithful cat or dog. And then, hold your breath, quiet down, listen and whisper gently, "I thank you, most generous God, for this precious gift of being, of life, here and now, today."

Tom Choi

Pastor, Los Angeles Korean United Methodist Church

Our society has come to learn that thankfulness is passive: we must wait for something to happen to us first and then we will be thankful. A good thing to do is not only to count blessings that have happened to us but also to count how we will actively and personally seek to be a blessing in different ways. Those who are willing to create an atmosphere of blessing and thankfulness in their hearts and then around them--whether or not there seems to be external reason to give thanks--will nearly always find blessing and reasons for thanksgiving. I hope it is so for you.

Los Angeles Times Articles