Reasons to be Grateful

This Thanksgiving season we’ve had more on our minds than the blessings of family and feast. Gratitude has meaning at other levels of our lives. Mental health counselors and spiritual leaders alike give us the same advice. When stress threatens to take over, an essential coping strategy is to remember for what are grateful. Gratitude puts hardships in perspective and renews energy. As you surely do, I always try to keep myself in a place of gratefulness. But indeed many times I’ve found the special need to step away, be quiet and simply name that which fills and sustains me: family and closest friends, my warm home in a park-like neighborhood, the four-legged friends that share my home, the Dawgs.

But nationwide 2016 has brought to the surface sources of stress that are sure to stay with us for a long time. And those circumstances cause me to look deep to remember and give expression to special reasons I find to be grateful at this time. 

It comes immediately to say that I’m grateful that the circles that I live and work in are of people who understand the world with values that affirm and encourage and whose friendships inspire my confidence. I’m grateful for my job in public health that I love for being the very expression of justice and shared responsibility.

I’m grateful for my Earth Charter friends and with them our partners at the Hoosier Environmental Council, Sierra, Hoosier Interfaith Power and Light, Health by Design and many more than I can name.  I’m grateful for what those people do to strengthen local initiative for a healthy earth and Indiana communities and most of all for how they contribute with undeterred tenacity to clarity in public discussion.  They inspire me to try to be so clear.

In the same way, I’ve been grateful this year for Exodus Refugee and for the Indianapolis Archdiocese for their armor piercing honesty and resolve regarding the sacred place of compassion and welcome in American policy. They help all of us to not be confused.

Given even the most optimistic expectations of the future that we face, the progress of justice, respect, dignity, reverence for life and a healthy earth requires our voices be unified with resolve and clarity founded on faith in all of the people. Language from the Earth Charter provides a North Star. Take in these words and phrases from “The Way Forward”:

  • Common destiny
  • Global interdependence
  • Cultural diversity is precious; harmonize diversity with unity
  • Everyone has a vital role; offer creative leadership
  • Awakening of a new reverence for life
  • Firm resolve. Struggle for justice and peace
  • Joyful celebration of life

Thanks for reading Monday Memos,


Want to get involved?

HANDS ON INDIANA, the pilot project by Hands On Artists, is a public engagement art project celebrating Indiana’s Bicentennial in 2016. Together with Sustainable Indiana 2016 and Earth Charter Indiana, they are promoting awareness of sustainable living for now and future generations. Please join us on Friday, December 2nd at Happiness House located on 1135 Cruft Street from 6-10 pm to view the Hands On Indiana collection. More here.

While you're there, it's a 2 minute walk to view Jim Poyser's Strawbale. More here.

And please join us for our Earth Charter Indiana holiday party, Sunday, Dec. 11 at The Aristrocrat!

Andy Fry