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So Much to be Thankful For

24 November 2021

Another Thanksgiving is upon us, which means another chance to take stock of what we’re grateful for.

New Orleans has had a hard year; the delta version of COVID-19 caused huge spikes in new cases this past summer, after earlier numbers suggested we were getting the better of the virus. We were hit by yet another hurricane, as Ida made her presence felt with a big entrance.

Originally postponed to October, JazzFest 2021 was cancelled.

And yet, even in the bad news are kernels of hope to give thanks for (would we be human if we didn’t look for silver linings?). COVID-19 daily new cases are declining precipitously. Hurricane Ida did damage, certainly, but I hope and trust most of us are at worst progressing in our repairs (and dealing with insurance adjusters).

JazzFest 2022 is scheduled for the festival’s familiar late-April timeframe.

As we sit down to our Thanksgiving dinners, our tables groaning with plenty, our loved ones around us, each of us will, no doubt, have a long personal list of blessings to be thankful for.

Our gratitude has, I think, been sharpened by the threats we’ve faced to our well-being as a community in COVID-19 and yet another hurricane becoming our reality. And we’ve shared these threats together, whether we’ve been conscious of that or not. We – many of us – have become more compassionate, more forgiving, more focused on the things of lasting import – our loved ones, our friends, our – dare I say it? – characters.

If we have, indeed, become better people through facing our shared difficulties, that’s something to be thankful for, too.

I’m not saying we have to be thankful for the difficulties themselves – but if the result is that we’re better human beings, I think that result is something we not only can, but should, be thankful for.

Put another way, we don’t have to be happy that life gives us lemons, but we can celebrate the adaptability, the willingness to exercise it, and the lemonade that results from our adapting to reality with goodwill.

So, this Thanksgiving, let’s celebrate with the fullest hearts, and the greatest and most wide-spreading gratitude we can muster. Let’s be thankful for everything on our tables, from the Turducken to the oyster dressing to the centerpiece to the salt and pepper shakers, plates, and silverware.

Let’s be thankful for every child’s smile we see. For every uplifting song we hear. For every heart we’ve somehow managed to miraculously touch, and every heart that’s touched our own.

For everyone whose love makes our lives better places to live.

What are you grateful for, this Thanksgiving?

Please click here to email me directly – I’d love to know what’s on your gratitude list this year.

Until next time –



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