Soliloquy in an International Cloister

Watch your step as Brother Lawrence takes you inside the monastery walls of a five hundred year-old international order. You'll laugh, you'll cry, you'll wish you had ignored your hormones and joined the monastery.

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Location: Rome, Italy

25 November 2010

Giving thanks

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the U.S., which would be great if not for the fact that I am in Italy. Still, I was able to have a celebration of sorts with roast turkey, cranberry sauce, and sweet potatoes. Unfortunately, there was no pumpkin pie.

I think Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, precisely because it is the least commercialized—not for lack of trying, mind you. Thankfully (there's that word again), Americans, the epidomy of consumerism, have resisted attempts to commercialize Thanksgiving. Today is about family and being thankful for the little things we usually take for granted.

Someone sent me a link to an article in the New York Times about Thanksgiving. It wasn't up to the paper's usual editorial standards, probably because it was dealing with something positive, which is quite uncommon for the NYT. To save you the trouble of reading the whole thing, let me paraphrase the best take-away line from the article: "Recent scientific studies have shown that optimists live longer than pessimists; which proves that the pessimists are correct."

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