Would a thankful heart improve discussion?

I don’t know about you, but I always get a little philosophical at the end of the year.  It’s a time to take another look at priorities, the worthiness of verbal battles, and respect for others.

I’ve had the discussions this season about Christmas.  I’m not an X-mas guy, whether it can be justified or not, I think people need to see CHRIST in Christmas.  In spite of all the hoopla, He is still the reason for the season.  I’ve also had some good ag discussions this year via social media.  Most were very respectful, and fun, but once in a while things got a little overboard on both sides.  I regret that, and one of my New Year’s Resolutions is to be more patient with people, even when it seems it may not be worth it.

I’ve heard stories from others that after some discussions, some people have stopped following them.  I’ve thought about unfollowing some, but I haven’t, and it turned out I was glad I didn’t.  I’ve seen through those follows stories of scooped snow for neighbors, donating business profits to charities, and other ‘good’ things.  This from people I sometimes wasn’t sure moved beyond our ag discussions and their ‘point of view.’  I hope they’ve seen I’m not so bad either, and that we just need to be a little more accepting of each other.  As the saying goes, especially in agriculture, we need to hang together, or we truly could hang separately.  As I said before, the vast majority of discussion with those who may not always think like me have been great, and I hope to engage more in 2011, for both of our benefit.

Here’s another reason I want to be thankful, and put more into perspective.  I have a cousin who is very ill.  He has brain cancer, cancer in his eye, and a very rough, unchartered road ahead of him.  I have other friends and acquaintances who are fighting various illnesses, from cancer to early aged Alzheimers, to severely broken bones from accidents.  I know I’m getting older, but they are all too young for this.  Their Christmas season was spent in chemotherapy and radiation, putting sleeves and pins in their bodies to hold their bones together, and in the realization that the normal things in life, including amazing memories, may be lost.

And so, our family has taken some time to be thankful for our health, for God’s provision, and for the promise of a new year.  Our discussions about agriculture are very important, and I won’t deny there is plenty of disagreement out there.  However, we all have reason to be thankful, and to work to have thoughtful, respectful discussion.


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