Beyond Thanksgiving

Every gift—of time, health, wealth, safety, knowledge, talent, skill, experience, opportunity, and freedom—demands something from you…

But this “demand” is no commandment and not some resentful duty.

Quite simply, this “demand” is the natural child of perspective:

… of the realization that your successes have far more to do with your privileged inheritance and good fortune than anything you’ve accomplished on your own initiative.

… of the realization that there are so many others who, through no fault of their own, are not equally blessed.

… of the realization that you can give only because you have the good fortune of having something to give.

… of the realization that we who have fared better in the lottery of life have a natural responsibility to those less fortunate.

… of the realization that the joy of receiving must be reinvested in the joy of giving.

… of the realization that it’s a privilege, not a burden, to share your time, treasure, and talents with others.

… and of the realization that you have so much more to be grateful for than to be proud of.

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13 thoughts on “Beyond Thanksgiving

  1. Frank, if I’m not being too forward ~ how are things going with your various health challenges? Should I ask? Yes? No? Yes, of course? No, how rude can you be?…. 🤯

    1. Not being too forward in the least, Ana. On the contrary, thanks for caring and thanks for asking. I am doing remarkably well, considering… thanks to the marvels of medical science, my team of medical professionals, and small circle of family and friends. Just how terminal I am remains to be seen, but in the meantime I’m doing my best not to waste any heartbeats.


  2. Wow, Frank. Your post today really hits home. I love this: “… of the realization that the joy of receiving must be reinvested in the joy of giving.”

    So very true. ❤️

  3. Words of wisdom … and ones that we ALL need to be reminded of from time to time. Thank you, Frank, for your insight and for this very timely reminder.

  4. You’ve hit the target, Frank. For the past several years I’ve been saying that those of us born into the leading edge of Baby Boom life in this country had the good fortune to exist in the safest and most prosperous place in the most privileged moment in world history. This is not an exaggeration.

    I obtained a good public high school education and went to a college where my tuition was slightly less than $100 per quarter — less than $300 per year! At Northwestern, my grad school education was essentially free, but for the work I did as a teaching assistant, a research assistant, a relatively well paid clinically psychology internship, and a fellowship.

    For those of us who were white, had parents who were in the working class, and were born healthy with decent brains, everything was possible. I have tried to pay it forward, as have old high school friends who, with me, established a college scholarship for underprivileged students at our much changed school. It was a responsibility but also very fulfilling.

    Those who belong to a different historical moment and will live well beyond me, now must contend with climate change, political unrest, and substance abuse my peers knew nothing about. I hope they meet the challenge of their time.

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