I’m thankful to give thanks this November, again. I’ve buried my dad, my daughter and my dog. I’m thankful to be alive in this wonderful place we know as Earth, whirling though the stars. I’ll join them, some day.

I’m thankful to be one of seven billion souls – my generation might even see nine. Less than six hundred generations to global domination. And in mine plus one, I might see how this turns out!

Could the Creator have made some awful mistake in our industry and intelligence? I think not. Will humanity become fully human before our interview is over? I’m thankful we’re asking the question. I’m thankful some of us want to create the answer, through living.

I’m thankful to have the guidance and wisdom of philosophers from 120 generations ago. I’m thankful I can read their words, hear their thoughts, thankful to walk in the steps of Socrates, Epictetus and Aurelius. I’m thankful that I have met some of the philosophers in my generation, just as wise. Through one on one, through the press, through the cinema. So rich an immersion. It can’t help but rub off.

I’m thankful for diversity in our country, in our community, in my vocation. It helps me remember that we all walk different paths in our time, and I am richer for it. I’m thankful for the stress that diversity can put on an endeavor, for stress creates tension, and tension forces change. And change is the cycle of life. I stress, therefore I change. I change therefore I live.

I’m thankful for the people surrounding me – my family and friends and colleagues. People that I know, deeply, and that in turn know me. As I am, not what I wish to be. I’m thankful to love, and thus become beloved. I’m thankful that I need not understand this love, only experience it. I’m thankful for the use of my body, this vessel of carbon and water, for my short walkabout amongst the ages.

I’m thankful for the beauty in the world, that first light of the morning, the brilliance of each season, the gloaming at each turning of the night. I’m thankful to experience the shocking abundance of the world, her snowy mountains, her verdant forests and seas, her sky. The diversity of climate and flora and fauna.  To be shepherd or flock. Predator or prey. The circle of life. Yesterday human, today the soil, tomorrow the tree.

I can be all things, I have been all things. I am of the Creator. The Creator is me. I am nothing in the end. I am everything in the beginning.

I’m so thankful.

Sustainability in states, climate change

TOM PALADINO

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