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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 I will make our pilgrimage to the cemetery to visit our parents' graves. They gave us 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 who has a why to live for can bear 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 Dorchester have the time to contemplate and question the meaning of our lives while many millions of less fortunate people try and scramble to survive to keep themselves and their families alive. Vast numbers of refugees live under very difficult horrendous conditions 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 and allow us to focus only on ourselves. Woe is me. Too many of us complain too much and do too little to affect positive 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 a lot more. Family and friends is the raison d’etre, a reason to be.

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 fulfillment.

We live in a free open society that too many of us take for granted. The advantages of a free elementary, secondary education and accessible free health care for everyone improves the lot of us all.

Contributing to the betterment of our fellow citizens makes us a caring society were everyone’s life has purpose. A smile and 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