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Thanksgiving And Anberlin

I've been noticing a lot of negativity lately amongst the userbase. Not saying I don't sympathize with the various obstacles and road blocks we all have in life, but I just wanted to encourage you guys to be positive and find things to focus on that will remind you that life really isn't so bad. Happy Thanksgiving to all my fellow Canadian Sputnikers, and to the rest of you - you don't need a holiday to be thankful, amirite? So let's go through one of my (current) favorite albums - Anberlin's "Cities" - and think of things we should all be thankful for. List only has 12 items, so I'm sure we can think of a lot more. C'mon guys - smile!

Be thankful for music. It's a language we all speak, and I'm sure it's helped
many of us get through a lot of difficult times. You don't have to like all kinds
of music, but at least learn to appreciate most of it.

Be thankful that you're alive. Of all the possible combinations of DNA your
parents' could have formed, it was yours that came into existence.
"They lied when they said the good die young."

Be thankful for not only the memories that make you smile, but also the ones
that taught you difficult lessons.
"Some things in life are unforgettable, like love lost, lies and lust."
4A Whisper And A Clamor

Be thankful for immunity. By that, I mean be thankful that you aren't
responsible for the mistakes of others. However you define it - God, karma,
nature...the idea is that not everything is in your hands and that people will
make mistakes but in the end, either they'll realize it or it will catch up to
them. Do what you can to look out for people, but be thankful that you can
take confidence in knowing you did the best thing and that the bad stuff that
happens is not your fault.
"It's not the lives that you save, but what the silence will scream". Also from
The Antlers' "Hospice": "Some patients can't be saved, but that burden's not
on you."
5The Unwinding Cable Car

Be thankful for independence. Too many of us look to others for validation of
our choices, but the fact is it's YOUR choices that define YOU. Even if you're a
teenager and you feel like your parents are making decisions for you that you
could make yourself, you have to choose how to respond to that, and that's a
decision that's going to aid in defining your character. No one can take that
from you. Show your thankfulness by making good choices.
"Listening for voices, but it's the choices that make us who we are."
6There Is No Mathematics To Love And Loss

Be thankful for health. (To be honest, I had a difficult time finding lyrics from
this song to distort for my own list-making purposes, and this is the best I
could come up with.) Being a smoker, I know how easy it is to take my health
for granted. Learn not to! Take care of yourself and appreciate our health-care
system (c'mon Canada) in a way that gives everyone the full benefits of both.
"If you're leaving, leave the cigarettes."
7Hello Alone

Be thankful for friendship. If you have one friend in the world, be
immeasurably grateful for that one person. If you have lots of friends, be just
as thankful for each of those individuals. And for those who truly feel they have
not a single friend, be thankful that you can BE a friend. I guarantee that if
you are thankful for the gift of BEING a friend, you will exercise that privilege
and gain friends in the process.
"Although I know a thousand names, I see my only friend."

Be thankful for purpose. I will tell you that everyone has a purpose in this life,
and that every single person can come to know that purpose. The purpose of
life is love - it's an arbitrary term, and I won't go into my definition. La
Dispute put it nicely - "What is life without a purpose? What is purpose
without love?" Be more thankful for love as something you can give than as
something you can receive.
"There's more to living than being alive."

Be thankful for personal change and development. Don't sulk because you're
"not who I used to be". Instead of wishing yourself back to a less experienced
place in your life, ask yourself how you can take every situation surrounding
your life and use it to change for the better.
"My mask is growing heavy but I've forgotten who's beneath."

Be thankful for romance. If you have a significant other right now, show them
how much you appreciate them, always. If you've yet to find that person, be
thankful that these things come in good time, and that you can take
advantage of your singleness by observing others' relationships and learn how
to treat members of the opposite sex and be a good partner. Finally, if you're
like me and you've lost that special someone, see not only the positive aspects
of having had that person in your life, but also the positive effects of losing
them. I lost that person and yeah, I'm heartbroken, but I'm making a
conscious decision to see it in a good light. It's hard, but it can be done, and if
I can do it, so can you.
"I wanna be your last first kiss that you'll ever have."
11Dismantle. Repair.

Be thankful for hope. There's no such thing as a "lost cause". There just isn't,
and if you believe you're a lost cause, you're wrong. Simple as that. There's
always opportunities for redemption, for forgiveness, chances to restore
relationships with others and also with yourself. Oddly enough, Anberlin uses
this expression in two different songs from the album.
"I am the patron saint of lost causes."

Be thankful for family. An obvious one, of course. Yesterday I found out that a
friend of mine lost his brother. This friend was here for me a few months ago
during a family crisis, and now I have an opportunity and privilege to be there
for him. His younger brother had an extremely rare condition and passed away
in his early teenage years. Just another reminder not to take family for
granted. And hey - if you don't have anyone in your life that you know is a
blood-relative, just know that you can find "family" elsewhere. "Family" in one
sense can refer generally to the people who know, accept, and love you the
most - the people you owe the same. You can find those people, I promise.
"Widows and orphans aren't hard to find."
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