Editorial: Giving thanks

It’s been a really tough week, hasn’t it? Look at the news: a vicious mass shooting in Las Vegas, an attempted terrorist attack in Edmonton, vile threats and counter threats over Korea, thousands upon thousands of desperate refugees still trying to find sanctuary and safe haven from storms and wars.

And what’s more, a little closer to home, the recent Hunger Awareness Challenge issued by Community Food Share forced a lot of people in our community to actually, and personally, confront the harsh reality with which many our neighbours and friends must cope month after month. It is a reality that makes it clear that some of our citizens cannot make ends meet, even in the midst of an affluent society.

Ironically these news headlines, and eye-opening challenges, are taking place right before our long Thanksgiving weekend. Thanksgiving is the time when we traditionally gather as families to share an (often) impossibly huge meal, and to reflect on all the blessings the year has brought us.

So, are there still reasons to be thankful this October 9, this Thanksgiving Day of 2017? Consider.

Emerging from the chaos in Las Vegas have been dozens of stories of men and women covering strangers with their bodies, crawling amongst the wounded and dying, ignoring the bullets, to staunch wounds, fix tourniquets and ultimately save lives. Stories of people, in shock themselves, nevertheless getting up from the ground, over and over again, to ferry the wounded, hastily draped on makeshift railings and tables, to where they could get help. Give thanks that such heroes will always emerge even at a time when things seem impossibly dark.

Remember the volunteers, the neighbours who ungrudgingly give their time, their energy and their creativity in an effort to help people right here in South Dundas. Most of these volunteers will never get much public credit: that doesn’t stop them. They continue quietly to look after the kids, after the elderly, after the sick, after the hungry, the tired and the lonely. We couldn’t manage without these folks. Give some thanks for them.

And when the family, warts and all, is gathered around the table this weekend, perhaps that might be just the right time to realize that there is still a lot to be thankful for in 2017.