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Dr. Hallowell's Blog

In Tough Times, Do You Give Thanks or Ask for Help?

It’s everyone’s favorite holiday, isn’t it?  At least that’s what one of my wife’s and my favorite magazines, Bon Appetit, recently called Thanksgiving.

The reasons are obvious: food, family, festivity, football, and fun.  An array of F’s.

As this year’s Thanksgiving approaches, I have to admit I’ve been through some tough times of late, as I’m sure some of you have, as well. Do we want to give thanks, or ask for help?

As I reflect on it, of course, the answer is both.  Like most people, indeed I would say all people, I need help.  But also, like all people, I have more to give thanks for than I usually reckon.

My friend and editor, Bronwyn Fryer, agrees with my trumpeting of connection, the “other Vitamin C,” as I like to call it, as the most tonic of life’s tools.  But she adds to it another Vitamin, Vitamin G, for gratitude.  She tells of how her dying father would lie in his hammock and look at the sun through the leaves and give thanks simply for that sight, which was, as Bronwyn put it, pretty much all he had at the end.

No matter how dire our straits, if we look for the sun through the leaves, if we take stock of what we have and do our best to relish it, then we reap the bountiful benefits of Vitamin G.

I am grateful for what we all are grateful for, the gift of life, of friends (like Bronwyn), of family, of our dog, Ziggy, and for the heaven that I believe our cat, Puck, who just died, found his way to.  And I am grateful for so much more, for all of you who read these words and create our little community around this newsletter, for my ability still to be able to write and to hope and to love, for the world’s ability to give back and to offer up its daily surprises, some good, some bad, and for the mystery that suffuses all we do, even as we pretend we know what’s going on.

I wish you all the happiest of Thanksgivings, full of all you hope for and desire, and full of Vitamin G as well.

Warmest wishes,

Ned Hallowell

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