By Dr. Kate Scannell, Syndicated columnist
First Published in Print: November 27, 2011
Like many Americans this past week, my friends and I shared a turkey feast and gave thanks for all that was good in our lives and the world. But this annual ritual is always difficult for me, because I also think about things for which I am not grateful -- the economic and political turmoil in the world, people starving and homeless, my patients who have suffered and died, and ...
Still, I routinely manage to keep my sadness private, off the proverbial table. Pumpkin pie helps. So does a little wine.
While listening to my friends' expressions of gratitude, I am profoundly impressed with the role that happenstance has played in shaping everyone's fortunes (and hardships). Personal intention and deliberate actions have certainly played defining roles, but, to a large extent, our lot in life is the "real" estate of providence and serendipity. Through no free choice or conscious planning, we are born into poverty or wealth, in times and places associated with war or peace, to good or bad parents, and with variable genetic odds of living healthy lives. Our survival and opportunities to flourish in the world largely begin "as luck would have it." Read More