For the past couple months, I’ve been taking on-camera acting classes. One of my classmates, a redheaded Ukrainian neophyte of about 30, asked one evening of our instructor, “Vut do vee do if vee haf to play sumvun who ees bad or even eevil? Sumvun completely deefrint from who vee are? I mean, I’m guud, so thees vood be very hart for me.”
“It’s called ‘acting‘”, I blurted out sarcastically.
Our dedicated instructor, Julie, answered her question, only I don’t remember what she said. When Julie was finished, I raised my hand.
“Most human beings live their whole lives within a very limited spectrum of behavior that we come to believe is who we really are,” I said.
“We like to think of ourselves as “good” because being “bad” is not “good,” I continued. “For the majority of us, our circumstances – like living in a place of abundance such as the United States, for example – allows for us to be good. But what if our circumstances weren’t so good? We have to allow for the possibility that our behavior might not be so good, either.”
My classmates listened intently (or maybe they were just acting).
“Everyone in this class.” I declared, “possesses the capacity to commit every good act that has occurred since the beginning of human history. We also have the capacity to commit every bad act that has ever occurred.
“We are all healers and killers,” I concluded.
By this time, my classmates were staring at me, (scared stiff, perhaps?) by the possibility that there could be a killer inside them. They seemed, however, to understand what I was saying and, for the most part, agreed. Julie was nodding her head the whole time.
This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for the good circumstances in which I find myself fortunate enough to thrive, mainly due to grace and by the simple fact that I was born in our most abundant nation.
I have everything I need: the highest quality natural foods, nice clothing, a comfortable, safe home; one best girlfriend; one really great guy; countless acquaintances whose company I enjoy; positive avenues of creativity and self-expression; entertainment and fun.
I enjoy excellent health and, for the most part, reside in a state of peaceful existence. For me, it all adds up to everything that is of value in my life.
Shakespeare, in his play “Hamlet” wrote: “There’s nothing neither good nor bad, but thinking makes it so.” Paying attention to what we have right now – all of it – whether we define it as “good” or “bad” – is a blessing.
Valuable lessons and gifts reside in every circumstance and, in every relationship we encounter – be they longlasting or fleeting – and, whether or not we like the way the gift has been wrapped.
Today, perhaps between forkfuls of the overabundant foods that will surely grace your Thanksgiving table, you’ll pause, then share with at least one other person, how grateful you are for all of the good you have in your life right now
The expression of gratitude, practiced on a regular basis, allows for us to walk through our lives feeling as rich as kings and queens, because we know that our riches are generated from within ourselves.
These inner riches can never be lost, stolen or taken away. Knowing this is, in my opinion, the greatest knowing of all.
I wonder, what are you thankful for today? Send me a comment below and let us all know.