Greg Cote

Greg Cote: Being thankful never goes out of style

Lauren and Ryan Tannehill laugh with Dwayne Nelson, 15, a student at Lanier James Education Center in Hallandale, as they pick out a turkey for Thanksgiving. The Miami Dolphins and Publix hosted 125 students from partner schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to shop for Thanksgiving meals.
Lauren and Ryan Tannehill laugh with Dwayne Nelson, 15, a student at Lanier James Education Center in Hallandale, as they pick out a turkey for Thanksgiving. The Miami Dolphins and Publix hosted 125 students from partner schools in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties to shop for Thanksgiving meals. Sun Sentinel

Is it harder to be thankful these days? Because of the way the world has turned? Because so many terrible headlines and sound bites and images from all over make us equal parts angry, depressed or anxious about the future?

For those very reasons maybe our gratefulness is more important than ever on Thanksgiving Day 2015.

We express appreciation on this day for the health and happiness of loved ones or for the bounty of food laid out before us.

Give thanks this year for hope, too, and for faith in better days.

Give thanks that our fundamental belief in the prevailing good of mankind may be shaken and tested but will not be taken from us. Not ever.

Give thanks for all of the little stuff that make up the rhythm and pulse of our lives, the things too easily taken for granted. Because the bigger the problems in the world, the more we need that reassurance of the small delights in our own backyard.

The unexpected courtesy of a door held open and a stranger bidding you good morning.

The jumble of loving noise in your crowded house as the turkey roasts and a dozen people all talk at once in a quilt of conversations.

The uncontrollable wag of your dog’s tail when you return home.

Give thanks for the friend who beat cancer this year. And for the one who didn’t.

Hug somebody. And if you aren’t a hugger, well … become one.

Teach your kids that “please,” “thank you” and “I love you” are words that, said enough, have the power to illuminate darkness.

Give thanks for all of the little stuff that make up the rhythm and pulse of our lives, the things too easily taken for granted.

Marvel that a lump of raw dough blooms into a crescent roll in 12 minutes.

Notice the way a toddler doesn’t sit on a chair as much as climb up onto it.

Don’t be too jaded to enjoy all of those cute-baby and funny-animal videos people post on Facebook that your wife constantly shows you as you pretend to roll your eyes.

Don’t sweat the small stuff — appreciate it.

Sports in particular challenge our thankfulness because complaint is the currency of most fans. The very nature of sports trades in disappointment more than joy. Doesn’t every NFL season end with one team happy and 31 others something less?

We’re no different in South Florida, where complaint always seems to gain a higher volume than gratitude. Look around, though.

After all, Thanksgiving’s greatest gift to us is not a full belly, but rather an excuse to reboot our optimism.

The other day Don Shula, flanked by Bob Griese and Dan Marino, was honored during a Dolphins game, the trio representing a 33-year continuum of making Miami nothing but proud.

Dolfans frustrated by the present at least can dip into that constant well of what was, the perfect well of cool spring water.

Give thanks for one of the most exciting minutes in sports: when the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton steps into a batter’s box.

Give thanks for those five Hurricanes national football championships in a 19-year span more than you bemoan the lack of a sixth. (And how about Jim Larrañaga shepherding a renaissance for Canes basketball!)

Give thanks for the Heat’s young slam-dunking, shot-blocking savant, Hassan Whiteside, and for all of his promise. And to Pat Riley and Dwyane Wade, for all of their promises kept.

Marvel that we luck to have two of their sport’s future Hall of Famers — the Panthers’ Jaromir Jagr and Marlins’ Ichiro — end their splendid careers here.

Appreciate that every year the world’s greatest golfers come to Doral, the greatest tennis players nest on Key Biscayne, the best thoroughbreds race in Hallandale and the greatest NASCAR drivers run at Homestead.

Be thankful that, though there no longer is an Orange Bowl stadium, the annual Orange Bowl game remains a vibrant tradition that this New Year’s Eve will host a College Football Playoff semifinal game.

Thanks that old sporting legends like Shula, Dr. Ferdie Pacheco, Gardnar Mulloy and Howard Schnellenberger are still gracefully among us.

And gratitude, finally — of course — to you readers of all kinds, but especially to those steadfast old-schoolers out there who still enjoy the soft rattle of a newspaper in their hands.

The crazier the world may get, the more we are challenged to see the good in it — but that is a challenge we must forever accept.

I hope the best in your world, like the best in mine, starts with the loved ones around your table on this special day.

Happy Thanksgiving, all!

Read Greg’s Random Evidence blog daily at Mia miHerald.com and follow on Twitter @gregcote.

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