So many good things have transpired as of late, by way of recognition, and remembrance I could hardly keep up, and I am thankful for that.
“The Season of Thanksgiving”, starts in late September early October and goes through to the end of Orthodox Christmas in the fresh new year! It’s a season of acknowledgement of so many good things which have gone before, and continue in their spirit today.
- In 2003 a movement to protect children from abuse started. The phrase “Every Child Matters” was used to promote awareness of children in abusive situations. We commemorate this movement and honour these lives each year.
- Following this initiative, there has been the recognition of those who struggle with mental health, particularly children in underprivileged situations who need better nutrition and consideration for their emotional struggles in life. Here we see again, “Every Child Matters.”
- Next, we have the change in the tide toward the indigenous peoples and their children due to the massive acknowledgement of the atrocities toward the Indigenous children in residential schools in the past. Demonstrating clearly, “Every Child Matters,” and every person matters. To the degree, education minister Steven Lecce has just announced a change in social studies curriculum to include teaching about the indigenous peoples. Let’s hope it includes the many major contributions these valiant people have made to progress and discoveries in our nation, and how they figure more central than previously understood in our Canadian culture.
- Very recently, we had the Celebration of the 150th birthday of Port Perry, its people, culture and of course the children, who were everywhere enjoying the goings-on. It was amazing to see how many families were out, together. It seemed recognizably more so than in years past. Maybe something good is coming out of this time, as families have spent much more time growing together under the changes Covid has imposed. There was also a silent, dignified rally for life, along Highway 7, on the same day. The simple holding of signs to share a concern about the abortion issue, with a much increased supportive reaction, by passers-by. The proportions of positive responses were much higher than in years past. It seems the message is getting out, “Every Child Matters,” without restriction on race, creed, or status in life. There is so much to be thankful for in this Season of Thanksgiving, and it has just begun.
- Coming up soon is Thanks Giving Day. It’s when we communicate our gratefulness for the bounty we share in our lives and at our tables, for our families, our country and its freedoms, including that of speech through the lives of each and every person with their varied opinions.
I want to say right here, “Whether I agree with the opinions shared by anyone, I will always fight for the ability of each person to share them and strive to understand the heart of each one.” Of course, as mature, caring Canadians, we know this does not always mean we will agree, but we will still hold in respect the ones who share, and value them. This is what gives the communities we live in their potential strength and their relative safety.
In the great by and by, what is actually true will be sorted. But in the meantime, loving our neighbour and extending dignity for their life reminds us we are all children of varied ages, learning and growing. Each life can be honoured and is something to be Thankful for.
Without the past and the traditions which value the life we derive from it, we would be without any clear mooring. To navigate anywhere, there is always the need to regularly refer to where you came from. Even though some have lost their way and have disrespected life in our past, let’s hope this recent turnaround will sincerely be indicative of actual recognition that each of us, “Every Child,” matters. The errors of the past don’t have to be the traditions we live in, if we choose to learn. This is the meaning of repentance. The word used in the scriptures, which is translated to the English word ‘repent,’ actually is the Jewish word that means to change and live the way one should have before. It’s not just the words; it’s the change in life. That’s how you draw a straight line to Thanksgiving. When we truly see and change, there is freedom for all involved.
Maybe it would be good for us all to traditionally live in thankful ways (and even pray to God in thanksgiving), for the lives of everyone close by, in our community, our wonderful province and all over Canada.
Without this tradition of Thanksgiving Day, and the life all around it recognized, things would seem just a malaise of pressing on, a blur. Now is a time to stop and smell the life, the fresh air, and see the slow fireworks in creation in the changing of the leaves.
It might be a good idea to pause and think about this (Selah) and allow for a moment, a sense of gratefulness to fill you up. There is so much life reaching out. Covid’s got nothing on Life!