When I think of all the wonderful people in my life and my physical and financial comforts and security, I don't think I am blessed. I am not just lucky. I am thankful.
To say I'm blessed because I have a beautiful home makes me question- are others who have less, less blessed? Really, does God love me more and show it by giving me a bigger house? Or maybe He loves me less because He gave me a bigger mortgage and more stress. No. I am blessed that He gave me free will. And, I personally believe, because He gave me a Savior who modeled for me a path of love and respect for all His creatures.
So am I lucky? Yes I am, but that's not the whole story either. My husband and I worked very hard for the things and for the relationships we have. We have made, and continue to make many sacrifices for each other, our children, our church, our jobs.... But I know that hard work had nothing to do with the fact I was born to two, supportive, educated, white, financially adept parents. (We were lower income- but I never knew that. My Mom could stretch a buck...) I was lucky I didn't get pregnant until I wanted to. It was dumb luck that I didn't marry that other guy.
It was just luck that I was born in the wealthiest, freest, and strongest country on the planet. Why do so many, who are just lucky like me, think less of people who were smart enough to recognize what America offers, determined and resourceful enough to get here, and willing to sacrifice so much in rights and dignity to stay?
So, what I am is Thankful. And with Thanksgiving around the corner I am more mindful of what I have to be thankful for. Always my family and friends top the list and this year I have the good fortune to add my sisters of Emerge to the list.
With our recent Emerge training weekend in mind, here are some more of the many thing we should all be thankful for in Maine:
We can wear an "I don 't trust Charlie" button and get a response, but not get arrested.
We can forget our purse in a bar and it will be there the next day.
We can eat well. We have some great restaurants in Maine choices where owners buy local and organic. Some even respect their employees enough to support paid sick days.
Our friends can include their Moms. You make me hopeful some day my daughter won't roll her eyes when I say something.
We don't have to be independently wealthy or have rich friends to run a successful campaign. Stay tuned for more info.
Our legislators are so accessible, they will even come to us. Thank you.
We gals can run for office and focus more on the issues than the clothes. But don't forget you have to be comfortable in the shoes, and the clothes need pockets.
We can laugh.
We can cry.
We can be honest and be supported.
We can make a difference!
Happy Thanksgiving, Bettyann Sheats Emerge Maine Class of 2012