By David Coy
Soren Kierkegaard told a parable of a wild Dove in the forest. The wild Dove lived near a farmer’s house where some tames Doves lived. Each day the wild Dove would go into the forest to gather food. One day, it met the tame Doves, and they shared how they cared for nothing as their every need was provided. The wild Dove never thought of itself as lacking until now. It had always thought of its needs being met in the forest. Now it was dissatisfied and discontent. One day it slipped into the barn thinking it could be cared for just like the tame Doves, never again needing to forage for food in the forest. The farmer noticed the new Dove the next morning and put the wild Dove in a box. The next day it was killed.
Scientific research is discovering that being and expressing thankfulness has distinct, measurable and beneficial effects not only on our mood, but our hormone balance, the function of our nervous system, and even the quality of our digestion. We were meant to live with others. As John Donne said, “No man is an Island.” When we lose a significant person in our life, someone highly esteemed, we may lose our compass. We may lose sight of what we have been blessed with because we are overwhelmed by our loss. It is easy for all of us to think that our life will continue on as it always has. When sorrow comes, it shakes our foundation and our belief of forever. It requires patience with ourselves to allow adjustment to our life’s new reality. Endurance and being thankful for the blessing past and present no matter the duration.
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