Jeanette Sekan
Jeanette Sekan
By Jeanette Sekan
The Cody (Wyo.) Enterprise
HCP columnist

As I started to write a column for Thanksgiving, I reviewed some past musings.

My thoughts from last year still capture my current thoughts. Please indulge a re-run.

There is much acrimony that has gripped our country. This enmity didn’t just materialize. We are all collaborators with the industry of animus. In our own peculiar ways we judge others – usually poorly.

We blindly follow those we think may finally provide an answer for our wishes without us doing any of the work. We actually only work hard to absolve ourselves of any responsibility for our failings and perceived sense of persecution. What a waste of good material.

I’m not immune to looking at the lack rather than the abundance. It takes work to push that aside. Gratitude, joy, peace, fulfillment, happiness, acceptance, pleasure are things we all keep reaching for. Often, those very things are already within our grasp. We just ignore them and keep looking at the green grass on the other side of the fence.

In this time of immense upheaval, I need to find clarity with what I can actually control since so much is out of my control. I need to remember that the ends don’t justify the means in the quest for a full and happy life.

I am lucky to be born in the United States of America. As I look across the globe, the odds are that I could’ve been born in a place where there are none of the freedoms and liberties I take for granted.

I know what it means to love and be loved. I miss George. But I am so lucky that we had the chance to share our lives with each other for a time. Many of our fellow countrymen and women, and many across the world, will never know that feeling.

I know the difference between truth and lies. Most of us do. We need to demand more of the former, and call out and incapacitate the latter, lest we fall victim to those who count on our complacency and fears to further their own selfish ends.

Public education in America offered me the opportunity to learn how to figure things out. I don’t always get the correct answer, but that baseline education is what helps me move forward and figure things out. It taught me the value of critical thinking.

I can accept facts that prove my assumption is flawed. More importantly, it taught me to realize there’s nothing wrong with being wrong. Newton and Einstein didn’t get it right the first time.

I’m my own worst enemy. It’s not immigration, other religions, the rich, poor, various races or different beliefs that limit me. I do that on my own when I decide to allocate blame rather than seek solutions that work for the greater good.

When “other” becomes my enemy, I’m doomed. When I remember that “a rising tide lifts all boats,” I then can embrace rather than reject the value and importance of all others.

Thanksgiving may offer a chance to look at ourselves and others in a more graceful and compassionate light. It’s about time, isn’t it?