Sunday, December 2, 2012

Sharing the Wealth

Saturday, December 1 Fiber-optic Santa is shining on me as I write. Oma and Xander are building a gingerbread house large enough for a family of four, in the kitchen. The season is upon us. No snow yet, and no serious forecasts for snow below 5000 feet, but the air feels like winter and the atmosphere is definitely one of yuletide greetings and hot cups of ginger snappish tea. In short, the nights are long and filled with cozy togetherness. And, despite the fact that some other worthy persons won the Powerball, and not me, riches abound. It would be easy for me to find something to complain about today, if I try. Heck, if I had nothing to complain about, I would be complaining about that! But as I think through the words I want to use, I find myself wanting to talk about good things and only good things. The joke would be – well, that’s going to be a short blog, then. But wait, there’s more. Truth is, I have so many blessings in my life I am beyond counting them and strictly enjoying them. Looking back on my life, I realize that I have won the lottery time and time again. Fame and fortune may have eluded me so far – SO FAR – but I have to admit I have been a very lucky fellow, indeed. I have gotten to spend 38 years (come December 28) with a remarkable and loving woman. I have gotten to know a great many good people and felt their love radiate over me. I still have enough wits about me to tell you of my luck. Times are tough. Times are tough for a great many people, compared to whom I have it really, really good. My heart goes out to all of them. We forget they exist even when they might be living next door or down the street. When I count my blessings I always try to think of people less fortunate, less well off, whose struggles are far greater and profound than my own. That might be the season calling to me, or the fiscal cliff looming like the edge of Niagara Falls. Or it could be, simply, the realization that I have a computer to work from, a TV to watch, a stove to cook upon and food to prepare in my nice, warm, spacious house. Truth is, like Tevya would say, I still would like to have to prove I can handle fame and fortune. I want to believe I would spread it around, and I know my wife, my conscience, would help me do just that. Then among the blessings I could count would be the blessings I bestow. Meanwhile, we all are doing what we can. The blessings we do spread are small, not earth-shattering or life-changing, but Theresa the little flower honored life and her God with her little ways, and that can be enough. Doors need to be opened. Things on tall shelves need reaching for shorter friends. Conversations with complete strangers in long lines at the checkout make the time more enjoyable, or less irritating at least. The phone lines still work. And even a quarter makes a joyful noise as it drops into the donations kettle, manned by the Salvation Army volunteer outside your favorite store. Wealth is a relative thing, meant to be spread.

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