Thurs, Nov 19 Gratitude Reflection

Let us give thanks for other living creatures that aren’t human. For animals and birds, insects and reptiles. Let us recognize our connection to the whole living world, and the intricate relationships human societies have with ecosystems and habitats. What happens to other living creatures also affects us.

            Some animals are domesticated. Pets, for instance, provide comfort and companionship. Domesticated animals, of all kinds, often exist as part of the network that sustains people: work animals, agricultural animals, and others, too.

            Wildlife becomes a different presence for us. Some people interact directly with nature through their passions and professions. Some of us only encounter them vicariously. Yet all of us, whether we feel the immediacy of the connection or not, are deeply affected by other living beings in our world.

            Imagine, for instance, how bees pollinate trees and flowers. Imagine the taste of honey at the end of the summer. In so many ways, the aspects of the world from which we derive pleasure are made possible because of the lives and journeys of other living creatures.

            Let us give thanks for the other beings that share the world with us: creatures with whom we have kinship and for whom we are accountable. Our relationship to the larger world — including its other inhabitants — is a holy and sacred trust. May we be grateful. — Rev Gail

And God said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures of every kind: cattle and creeping things and wild animals of the earth of every kind.” And it was so. God made the wild animals of the earth of every kind, and the cattle of every kind, and everything that creeps upon the ground of every kind. And God saw that it was good. Then God said, “Let us make humankind in our image, according to our likeness; and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the wild animals of the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps upon the earth.” — Genesis 1:24-26

If having a soul means being able to feel love and loyalty and gratitude, then animals are better off than a lot of humans. ― James Herriot

Every day, think as you wake up: Today I am fortunate to have woken up. I am alive. I have a precious human life. I am not going to waste it. I am going to use all my energies to develop myself, to expand my heart out to others, to achieve enlightenment for the benefit of all beings. I am going to have kind thoughts towards others, I am not going to get angry, or think badly about others. I am going to benefit others as much as I can. — Dalai Lama

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