Letters to the Editor

Letter: Thankful for the ability to change

A quote from Cicero; “A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.” Decency begins with thankfulness — I like it. Cicero reminds me of a quote from an interview with a 100-year-old man reprinted in The Gazette many years ago, “Be thankful for all things, even the things that slap you in the face.” There is no excuse for not being thankful, regardless what happens. Really?

Victor Frankl in his book, “Being Mortal,” recounted his years in four German concentration camps — and survived. He was a psychiatrist by profession. After the war he totally changed his practice. He realized the story behind a patient’s behavior was not important. Instead, he emphasized the decision to change. What I take from Frankl is that nothing causes us to be a certain way not even a concentration camp. It doesn’t matter how bad our story, change is not dependent on stories. Change comes about because we want to change.

The Women’s March, Jan. 21, 2017, was a day of united thankfulness — caring for all. I never felt more in unison with the hearts of so many people (20,000 in Des Moines) as that day. Throughout the country other rally’s reportedly had the same feeling. I would call it a genuine feeling of thankfulness for the decency of people.

Regardless how we see our personal lives or the country as a whole, the change we need to make is within our power. That is something to be thankful for.

Les Deal

Cedar Rapids

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