But this is supposed to be a post about being thankful, and I haven't seen much in the last few hours to be thankful for.
Perhaps I can tackle it this way:
I spend quality time with people who are very important in my life, who generally see things the way I see them. Political, social, fiscal, recreational, spiritual...and many other -als that you can think of. We're more or less on the same page.
I also spend much quality time with people who are very important in my life, who couldn't have more opposing viewpoints to mine if you lined them up on a protractor and measured out exactly one hundred and eighty degrees. Not only are we not on the same page, but if one of us is in a Tolstoy novel, the other is in a Rachael Ray cookbook. [Note: I will not use this space to determine which is whom or whom is which. Or...whatever.]
I'm thankful that, in both instances above, we can have open, honest discussions about a wide range of topics in a variety of settings...around a campfire or kitchen table or on a bar stool...and after a sometimes heated debate, agree to disagree and still have a beer together, or play bocce ball. (Or, ideally...have a beer while playing bocce ball!)
My favorite Dr. Seuss quote applies here: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind."
Those who matter accept you, warts and all. And they can entertain your ideas without necessarily agreeing with them, or even vehemently opposing them. And they'll still matter.
I'm thankful for those who matter, and allow me to say what I feel.
"Sometimes I lie awake at night and I ask,
'Where have I gone wrong?' Then a voice says to me,
'This is going to take more than one night.'"