I was going to post a Thanksgiving blog today, but I learned a lesson that I thought important to write about, and in the end, it left me thankful.
As with most days, my morning started with sipping a cup of coffee as I flipped through various news channels. One story in particular caught my attention.
The fact that I was not drawn to change the channel is a surprise in itself, because it was a story that involved David Axelrod, President Obama’s senior advisor. Honestly, in the past it has not been unusual for me to flip to another channel or turn the news off completely when he has spoken. With all due respect, all I heard when he spoke was “blah, blah, blah.” That will change after today.
The story was about how he and his wife, Susan, have been fighting a 29-year battle with their daughter’s epilepsy. Strange, that seeing Mr. Axelrod as a loving father and husband came as a surprise to me, and I found it curious that all those times I watched him speaking on politics and policy I only saw him as another bloviating talking head.
It shouldn’t have been such a lesson for me, as it is a subject that I often think about – learning about and respecting each other through open communication. I have even blogged about in the past:
Sister Left, Sister Right
I often miss a lot by turning the channel, or turning someone – anyone – “off” when I’m not interested in what they have to say. Perhaps it is a safety mechanism, so that I don’t have to deal with that person as a multi-dimensional human being, only as a flat, one-sided person I can more easily disagree with.
But the story on the Axelrod family showed me – or perhaps reinforced to me – that every person is a multi-faceted human being, with unique triumphs and tragedies. If we open our hearts and learn from them, even those of us with differences might get along better.
And wouldn’t that be something to be thankful for?