The Challenge: To Make a More Thankful Generation

I am sure each of us can recall where we were on this day nine years ago. I was living in Boston and driving to work at a photography company in the suburbs. I can still see the intersection, where I was waiting for the light to change, when I heard the second plane had hit the World Trade Center and it became clear this was no accident. At the end of the day as I drove home there were no cars on the road and no people on the streets. Boston, it seemed, had become deserted.

Watching Noah play on the floor this morning, unaware of the horror of that day and of the evil in this world in general, I want to scoop him up and hold him as tight as I can. I am painfully aware of how quickly life can change in a way you prayed it never would. This post is not about the state of the world, but rather about the hope  that we can teach our children to be tolerant of those who are different and outwardly thankfully to those who protect us each day.

My brother has made a career out of the Army. It is the only thing he has ever wanted to do and the only thing that he has ever done. He has seen and experienced things that no man should have to, but twenty plus years ago he volunteered and took and oath to protect this country and it citizens and he takes his orders and does his job with out complaint. One of the proudest moments of my life was when a man who had just met my brother said to his young son.

“This man is in the Army, he protects us from harm. Shake his hand and thank him for what he does.”

It is not just those in the military that protect us from harm, it is the firefighters and police officers as well. On this day of remembrance I issue a challenge to you and to myself. When you see one of these people walk up to them and thank them for what they do. If your child is old enough to understand take them down to the fire station and knock on the door. When you see a Military person in a restaurant or in front of you in line, say thank you and offer to pay for them. Stop the police officer that is walking by and thank them for keeping the streets safe. Don’t just do this today but as many times as you can through out the year. I often pass service men and women and think I should take a moment to thank them for their sacrifice, I have yet to do it, and I have no good reason why I have not.

The news mainly talks about the bad in the world, those who spew hate get the most air time. Let us show our children there is good out there and a simple thank you or a helping hand can make a world of difference.

If you do take up this challenge please let me know what you have done.

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