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It is Fall , my very favourite time of the year. The days are warm and the nights are cool. The leaves are painted in a vast rainbow of colours.

This morning we went through our closets selecting and bagging clothes that we wished to donate to the Diabetic Society.

In the afternoon Ella and made our pilgrimage to the cemetery to visit our parent’s graves. They gave life and a reason to be and encouraged us to make a difference. We spent some time reading the tombstones and reflecting on those whose had touched our lives. There was a smattering of society all resting in the same hallowed ground- there are no rich or poor in the cemetery.

Thanksgiving is a time to question and reflect on who and what we are. They say if you only read two books in your life then one should be the Bible and the other Victor Frankl’s story of “Man’s Search for Meaning” written by him in a Nazi concentration camp-Auschwitz. He quoted Nietzsche - “ He that has a why to live for can bear with almost any how.”

“ Life is to be lived and enjoyed not merely endured.”

There has to be creativity and purpose to your life. One has to have a goal and believe in a future to be happy.

“Yesterday is history, to-morrow is a mystery and to-day is a gift, That is why we call it the present.”

We in the North American society have the time to contemplate and question the philosophy of our lives while many millions of less fortunate try and scramble to survive to keep themselves and their families alive. Vast numbers live under difficult horrendous situations and yet still see the meaning for hope and happiness as part of their survival plan.

Depression, disillusioning moods can if we let them take hold of us; allow us to focus only on ourselves. Woe is me. Too many of us complain too much and do too little to affect change.

The loss of meaningful relationships deprives us all of the ability to leave a legacy for future generations. To live for and only unto ourselves leaves an empty well of despair. Ask any rich man at the end of his life if he wished that he had accumulated more wealth. Photographer Paul Musek taught me that those who have little seem to enjoy it more. Family and friends is the raison d’etre for me.

Finding meaning to one’s life may be equated to discovering happiness. Life is a journey filled with simple joys and tribulations. We strive to find a critical balance that leads to fulfilment.

We live in a free open society that most of us take for granted.

The advantages of a free elementary, secondary education for everyone improves the lot of us all.

Ask millions of your neighbours in the US of A what they would give to have universal health care? I know our health care system is in need of change but we care enough to make it better.

Contributing to the betterment of our fellow citizens makes us a caring society were everyone’s life has purpose. A smile, an outstretched helping hand is part and parcel of the Canadian way of life. All you have to do is try: all “the coulda, shoulda, woulda” excuses are erased by the words: “I did.”

It matters not how long a person may live only how. Try and make every day - Thanksgiving.

Len Lesser

Len Lesser posts a report every week

You can email Len at lenlesser@hotmail.com