Today I’m thankful for an open mind. Too many times I see people who close their thoughts to possibilities. They stereotype. They allow hate to drive them forward. I’m glad that I fight against that with my willingness to look at the perspective of someone else. The fact is that you don’t know what someone is going through; what battle they are fighting. Maybe a simple smile can make all the difference. If we strip away the skin and what makes us male and female, what do you have? We are all the same underneath all of that. We all bleed red. Our hearts beat. We breathe air. So, why should we perpetuate racism and bigotry? We shouldn’t. I work ever single day to teach students the importance of an open mind and true, unconditional acceptance. I strive for it myself. I hope I never lose sight of the importance of love and compassion.
I am a few days late, but better late than never. So, here goes:
I am thankful for my son. He means EVERYTHING to me. He has been through so much this summer. He has dealt with judgment from sources who have no right to judge. He will never get that from me. That’s the beauty of unconditional love.
Carl Rogers encouraged us to embrace our children, faults and all (Hergenhahn & Henley, 2014). It is heartbreaking that not all parents understand this let alone employ it. At a young age my child has been required to process one of the greatest rejections he may ever face. However, he is becoming stronger for it. He is excelling in school, and he is growing spiritually and personally.
Secondly is my husband. I feel like I haven’t seen him much since I started the Ph.d. program in April, and even more so since I started back to work in August. He too has been through a lot recently. He is one of the strongest people I know. I only wish I could be that strong. He is an awesome dad, too. I love him more than he will ever understand or know.
Death is a part of life, and grief is a natural process that all humans must go through with the loss of a loved one (Stassen, 2016). What is excruciating is watching someone navigate through that loss, feeling helpless and impotent. That’s what I’ve been doing since July. The loss of my father-in-law has changed everything for our lives. As a result, my husband is much less carefree and has transformed to his very core. Coming up on the first major holiday without his father will be especially difficult. Still, I have no doubt his strength will win out.
I am thankful for my dad. He taught me how to laugh. He taught me how to play the drums. He taught me how to sing. He introduced me to The Blues Brothers and Saturday Night Live in the 70’s. We share a love of the same music. He’s taught me more skills than I can possibly list. He is an awesome grandfather, too! My dad and I have an extremely similar thought process. My mom often tells me that we react the same way to various situations and say the same things when presented with challenges. We both share the commonality of road rage (LOL), but we also share a lot of endearing qualities. He is truly one wild and crazy guy!
More to come 🙂
Hergenhahn, B. R., & Henley, T. B. (2014). An introduction to the history of psychology (7th
ed.). Belmont, CA: Wadsworth.
Stassen Berger, Kathleen, (2016). Invitation to the Life Span (3rd ed.). New York, NY: Worth.