The fall colours and chilly days remind us of the passing of Summer. Autumn is upon us and serves as a time to reflect on the seasons passed as well as the many blessings in our lives; family, neighbours, our city, province, and country. Thanksgiving is a time to consider the many opportunities and challenges in our lives and the lives of others while acknowledging and appreciating all that we have. This weekend I encourage you to reflect on the things for which you are thankful.
I am reminded of the G.K. Chesterton quote: “When it comes to life, the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude.”
It is more than anecdotal that an attitude of gratitude makes one happier. In a Harvard Health Publishing report, positive psychology research shows that gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships. It is no wonder our Christian scriptures remind us, “In everything, give thanks.”
Many of us are thankful for universal health care and the continuing improvements in health care facilities; the ability to provide needed supports for those facing challenging situations; and the fact that all children have the opportunity for a quality education. I am thankful for the tapestry of cultures that make up our province; for the hard-working people who drive our economy; and, at this time of year especially, those in the farming industry who produce food for a growing global population.
I am thankful for our education system and for our libraries, as we acknowledge Library Week October 14th to 20th. Saskatchewan Library Week promotes the wonderful resources and services that libraries have to offer. Saskatchewan has one of the best library systems in Canada. In Saskatchewan, we enjoy “One Province, One Card”. The Saskatchewan Information & Library Services Consortium (SILS) gives residents of Saskatchewan easy access to materials held at over 300 public library branches across the province with one library card.
Libraries are important because they are:
- Dynamic, community centres for learning, information and entertainment;
- More than just printed materials, providing access to computers, the Internet and programs;
- Rare institutions that are within everyone’s reach, regardless of age, education or income level;
- The ultimate equal opportunity resource.
Moose Jaw is home to Palliser Regional Library. It coordinates inter-library loans and provides many other services to 20 local libraries across southern Saskatchewan, including Moose Jaw Public Library. The service provides great access to an overwhelming wealth of information with over half a million items circulated out of Palliser Regional Library in 2017.
Our beautiful Moose Jaw Public Library is a jewel in our city. The library was open 332 days and hosted 164,943 patron visits in 2017. It ran 438 programs for children, youth and adults. Some 3600 items were delivered to people who weren’t able to go to the library. Thank you to everyone dedicated to providing such valuable library services.
As you observe this Thanksgiving weekend, may an attitude of gratitude add joy to your life and the lives of those you love.