It’s that time of year again. But before the commercial spectacle that has come to define the coming weeks begins in earnest, tomorrow we are given a brief opportunity to reflect on what there is to be grateful for. And there is always something to be grateful for. Instead of thinking about what I think my life needs, Thanksgiving gives me a societal mandate to enumerate that which it does not. When framed in such a manner, it is very difficult to feel like I have somehow been shortchanged, as far as material items are concerned anyway. The non-material, however, is a much more complicated picture.
It is all too easy to confuse desire with need. It could come from a primal, perhaps instinctual impulse, but often feeling good, or fulfilled, or complete in oneself requires the participation of others. In other words, we are social beings, we need one another to validate who we are… and that can be a very tricky thing if we are not sure who that is. And it could be even more difficult when we do have a good idea of just what it is we are made of. Inconsistencies are more apparent. Compatibilities are more closely scrutinized. Balancing rational decision and instinctive desire becomes much more precarious. Perfection is forever elusive.
Yet my life is still full; it might even be complete. I might even be complete. That I am still around to think about these and other phenomena is a place I can find a certain degree of gratitude in. I know only too well that nothing is constant, nothing is guaranteed and when nothing is ventured – nothing is gained. I can sit safe and secure in my little comfort zone or push the boundaries of what I believe to be possible, and maybe, just maybe I’ll find that what I want is also what I need. If I don't walk out to the edge, I'll never see the other side.