In a testy exchange during cross examination by D.A. Mike Nifong yesterday, the defendant repeatedly answered, "Gobble, gobble." Some media outlets, the ASPCA, and increasingly venomous internet "bloggers" have questioned Nifong's decision to proceed with the case in face of scientific proof that a turkey is anatomically incapable of wielding an axe. ~ Mortimer Stevenson
Dear Reade, Collin and Dave,
Our beliefs are founded not on our experiences, but on our reactions to those experiences. It has been said that nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it. In other words, our thoughts, our beliefs, are but made up stories, fictions instantaneously crafted from the deeply rooted core files comprising our conditioned personality "blueprints."
Thoughts lead to feelings. Feelings lead to actions. Actions lead to results.
Have you ever awoken feeling lousy, or in a bad mood, and found that the entire day seems to take on the cast of your initial waking thoughts? I have. Assume that, on first look in the mirror, I think that I look terrible. I'm getting fat. Again. And look at all that gray! The crow's feet! The...age. Those thoughts make me feel terrible walking out the door to face the world. That feeling will imbue my posture, demeanor, carriage and interactions with those I meet during the day. My actions, thus, prompted by those sneaky feelings, determine the results I achieve during the course of the day. Did those I met find me dynamic? Compelling? Worthy of their friendship, belief, time or business? Of course not.
If, however, I awake, look in the mirror and think, "I am a sexy bitch, baby, yeah!," I'm going to bound out the door feeling like the cock o' the walk, act like I can bend steel with my bare hands, and compel the results I desire through sheer force of will.
Since nothing has meaning except the meaning we give it, since our thoughts are just made up stories that might be instantaneously cast in a positive or negative light, it is up to us to choose the positive alternative. Remember, beliefs are founded not on our experiences, but on our reactions to those experiences, and we each have the power to choose our reactions. On experiencing your visage staring back at you from the mirror, choose to think, "I'm great!" Because you are.
No mopey faces on Thursday. No woe-is-me self pity. You are not what others think of you. You are what you think of yourselves. And so, give thanks.
Give thanks that you were chosen to bear this cross instead of another teammate. The universe only gives us that which we are strong enough to overcome. Give thanks that you are that strong. Give thanks that this ordeal is, daily, making you stronger still.
Give thanks that this surreal nightmare has made you more fully realize the deep love of family.
Give thanks for your dads, mobilizing on your behalf like sentinels protecting platoon mates under siege. Give thanks for their love and unwavering support. Give thanks for their unquestioned belief in you. Give thanks for the strength of character they have instilled in you. Give thanks for the strength to conquer adversity that they demanded of you as children and are so proud to see you calling upon in this time of crisis.
Give thanks for your moms, ever there with a hug when you need one, and a reassuring word in moments of despair. Give thanks for their inherent strength. Give thanks for their remarkable grace under pressure in the face of that which would make lesser women crumble. Give thanks for their love and unwavering support. Give thanks for their unquestioned belief in you. Give thanks for the strength of character they have instilled in you. Give thanks for the look you see in their eyes. Give thanks that they, too, know the truth.
Give thanks for your siblings. Give thanks for their individual talents and successes. Give thanks for their encouragement, love and support. Give thanks, on looking at the younger ones, in the knowledge that they will grow up to be quality adults who bring value to others' lives, just like each of you.
Give thanks for your friends, girlfriends and loved ones. Give thanks that, owing to the quality of your character, others are drawn to your positive energy and surround you with their own. Give thanks for their love. Give thanks for their shoulders. Give thanks for their ears. Give thanks for their knowledge of the true you. Give thanks that they have never doubted your innocence. Give thanks that they, too, know.
Give thanks that your personal trials have shone a bright light on how far we yet have to go as a nation and species to achieve harmonious coexistence and true equality under law. Give thanks that your endurance of this travesty will effectuate real change.
Give thanks for your counsel and all others working tirelessly on your behalf. Give thanks for those who champion your innocence and seek to illuminate truth in the face of ignorance, deception and lies.
Give thanks for the recognition that one who tells the truth has nothing to fear.
Give thanks that this, too, shall pass and that you will each be the richer, that is, a better man, for having gone through it.
Give thanks for those millions who have never met you but pray for you nightly.
And give thanks when Tampa Bay kicks the Cowboys' asses.
Happy Thanksgiving, Guys.