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Thanksgiving – Inspiration

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

“I had the blues because I had no shoes until upon the street, I met a man who had no feet.” – Denis Waitley

The bravest person I ever personally witnessed was a volunteer at my workplace. Every day she would arrive at the back door around 9.30am, as immaculately groomed as possible, but on a framed walker which she had been struggling with for the best part of 15 to 20 minutes. Aside from a hello I never had the presence of mind to ask what her condition was, but it was clearly debilitating. She has now gone to God and enjoyed a release from all that physical pain but the grit she showed by coming in to work several days a week for a number of years still remains for many of those who witnessed it.

The risk in being inclined to grumble about problems is that you will invariably run across someone worse off than you, just ask Monty Python. The rarer feat is to run into a person who has taken their lumps in life, adjusted course and is now flourishing without any thought of self-pity. In such instances the person becomes transformed and in so doing also re-shapes the lives and perceptions of many others. They go from being thought of as a potential burden to being recognised as a gift. Like the saints which adorn the Catholic Church, these individuals inspire us and make the tiny troubles we endure burst like so many soap bubbles.

The Irish painter and poet Christy Brown, whose life was made into the film My Left Foot, the famous US educator Helen Keller and the Canadian long distance runner Terry Fox are examples of three such individuals who overcame adversity that would resonate with an older generation. In truth though these heroes and their stories are still being played out every day, and thankfully through the easy availability of social media we now have the means to bear witness to them more easily. Take a look at the life of Patrick Henry Hughes, in whom you have not just one inspirational story but three – his own realisation of his gifts; his father’s selfless dedication in enabling him to gain a tertiary education and finally the story of two parents who focused single-mindedly on their child’s abilities rather than his disabilities.

Christy Brown

Christy Brown

Helen Keller

Helen Keller

terry-fox

Terry Fox

Patrick Henry Hughes

Patrick Henry Hughes

For all of these individuals, who provide the inspiration there are no barriers imposed save those we set for ourselves, we say thank you.

Previous thanksgiving article: Sacrifice

The season of Lent asks of us for sacrifice and the foregoing of many things, but an attitude of joy and gratitude should not be amongst them.

As an exercise in almsgiving over the next 40 days, this webpage will joyfully give up its praise and thanks for one aspect of life, and not always necessarily a religious one.

At the outset it should be made clear the viewpoints expressed here are a matter of individual opinion. If any one item doesn’t coincide with your own personal tastes then why not seek to better it with some thanksgiving of your own rather than a critique? You are always welcome to do so at the Archdiocesan website feedback mechanism.

So we invite you to come, walk with us awhile, and be thankful as we journey together to Calvary and beyond to Easter.

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