Thanksgiving message 2007
Members and friends
There is so much to fear in the world. It’s worse now than it’s ever been. Really? I think the first person to voice that lament was probably Plato.
Yes there is much to fear, and there always has been, and probably always will be. To say otherwise is Pollyannaish. Yet we must live our lives with some degree of courage or we become victims of life, rather then participants in this great adventure.
Sometimes that courage manifests itself in acts of forgiveness and efforts to heal wounds. In the Sunday New York Times this week there was a full page, paid message from the Christian community applauding the efforts of a grand council of Muslim clerics from around the world. They Muslims called their message “A Common Word Between You And Us”. It can be read at www.acommonword.com To read those words of hope is very encouraging. It appears that many in the Muslim world are as distressed with the radicals among us as we are. Their message is a call to reason.
The Christian response reiterated the points made in the Muslim document and pointed out the commonality of belief. They also acknowledged that the world had brutalized Muslims in the past. It is heartening to know that the serious religious people from the most popular sects in the world are recognizing the need to live in harmony, and are moving together to preach a gospel of tolerance.
Despite our personal and collective losses over the year we always have much for which to be thankful. Among the things we should be thankful for are our freedom and democracy. I have often expressed the idea that life is risky. Democracy is risky. Freedom is risky. Yes, these things are true, but without freedom and democracy, there is little left to save. We don’t need to sacrifice what we in the free world hold as sacrosanct Some of our religious leaders are showing us a better way.
Beyond the terribly distressing headlines there are still millions of true believers working to secure a peaceful more tolerant world. I’m thankful for that.