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What is obvious to me was a joyful surprise to them; what I take for granted, they celebrate in thanksgiving.

A quarter century ago, Henri Nouwen went to live in Latin America to see what he could learn in poor communities there: “In many of the families I visited, nothing was certain, nothing predictable, nothing totally safe. Maybe there would be food tomorrow …work tomorrow… peace tomorrow. Maybe, maybe not. But whatever is given—is a reason to rejoice or say gracias. What I claim as a right, my friends received as a gift; what is obvious to me was a joyful surprise to them; what I take for granted, they celebrate in thanksgiving.”

It is in this spirit that all Americans might rediscover the good & good will in the neighbors rather than dismissing what is all around us as some sorry lot we have been cast.

Fear-mongering leaders & talk show deceivers who can only complain about what native & immigrant communities have struggled to build or restore are missing the best elements of our entire country: that all people have been gifted a land here with rich soil, rich history, abundant water & plant life, wondrous wildlife & even more wondrous cultures that we need to celebrate & maintain rather than denigrate & mangle.

Gratefully receive the gifts. Gift them again.

-Brother Coyote

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