The ripple effect of thankfulness

Nov. 24, 2018 — While I don’t necessarily subscribe to the theory behind trickle-down economics, I have become a firm believer in the trickledown effect of national discourse and its ability to permeate how we feel about our lives — and, just as importantly, in recognizing the good in each other.

The overt divisiveness that has arisen within our society over the last few years has conditioned us to accept pessimism as a natural part of our daily perspective.

Forget about wearing rose-colored glasses or beer goggles; more often than not, we have come to instinctively reach for a blindfold when it comes to how we see each other and anyone with a differing viewpoint.

It’s a mindset that runs completely counter to being thankful — because it narrows our vision and minimizes the chance of recognizing any good that exists within our peripheral.

To put it plainly, it’s hard to appreciate a sunset while facing east.

Admittedly, I’m no exception. And not just because I have a lousy sense of direction.

In today’s constant barrage of information, opinion and analysis through news outlets, social media and notifications on phones, computers and tablets, our attention is constantly being diverted away from real interaction with each other and toward a nebulous relationship with those we hardly know.

The result is a growing inability to live in “real” time and in the moment with one another.

As we enter into the holiday season, and especially the Thanksgiving holiday weekend. I hope we can all take time to gather around the table and talk about what we’re thankful for in one another; the things that unite us in appreciation; and the common good that defines us as a family, community and ultimately as Americans.

I believe the trickle-down divisiveness around us can be diluted if we allow the ripple effect of thankfulness to provide some much-needed levity.

There will be several opportunities this afternoon (Saturday, Nov. 24) to meet with friends and community members during the Florence Holiday Festival, which kicks off at 3:30 p.m. with hay rides, hot cider and cocoa  and a visit from Santa, along with live music between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m., and the official tree lighting at 6 p.m. in Old Town.

It is within moments like these that we are reminded of the things that unite us as people within a community rather than partisanship.

My best wishes and sincere thanks to our readers, letter writers and community for providing so many moments each day for which I am thankful.

Write Siuslaw News editor Ned Hickson at [email protected] or P.O. Box 10, Florence, Ore. 97439.

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