Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Time for Giving Thanks

Years ago I worked for a local chamber of commerce and wrote a similarly themed piece as appears below -- with some topical revisions -- for the November newsletter one year. It’s still relevant today whether we’re part of a community of commerce struggling in a tough economy, a geographical community of neighbors and citizens, a nation with regions hit hard by natural disasters, or a community of gamers.
“We count our miseries carefully and accept our blessings without much thought.”
-- Chinese Proverb
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It’s easy in these difficult economic times to succumb to the worrisome hype and the fear of the unknown that might lead to hardship, sacrifice, and loss. We should resist the urge to complain and instead embrace the challenges before us by considering solutions to problems and strategies for success.

All too often we take for granted the many things we do have. Gamers enjoy an engaging, dedicated community of players, creators, professionals, and friends who realize their combined well-being -- and that of the adventure gaming hobby -- is just as important as their individual strengths. Whether we’re part of a small circle of gaming friends or a greater community through online interaction or conventions, each new contact is more than a chance to improve our own gaming life; it offers an opportunity to enrich someone else’s.

Thanksgiving and the upcoming holiday season help remind us to celebrate these many positive blessings that enhance our lives. We should take a moment to remember that this world will always have people who are worse off than we are—those experiencing more financial, emotional, or physical pain—and we can do our part to ease some of their hardship.

Many local and online institutions strive year-round to help the community; they rely on donations of time and money from volunteers to continue their mission to help those in need. Are you seeking opportunities to make a positive difference in our community this holiday season? Thanksgiving and the holidays come once a year; but we should remember to always remain grateful for our blessings and continually seek to help those less fortunate than ourselves.
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“In ordinary life we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give, and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich.”
--  Dietrich Bonhoeffer