Water over the...

There is a grist mill just outside of Augusta, Wisconsin (last I knew still operating as an historic site and still able to grind grain into flour) with it's own dam pond.  (If you've seen the movie, Vacation, you know where I got that line.)

This time of year, leaves, twigs, and other floating pieces get closer and closer and then - whoosh - they're gone and over the dam.

So it is with us.

We can reminisce about our life on the pond.  Enjoying small eddies of life around the neighborhood - completely unaware of a life on the outside.

That is the value of travel - the opportunity to see things in living color in areas we hadn't before experienced.

Perhaps the most stark memory for me came on a trip to the capital of Honduras when I was working as a reporter in South Dakota.  Our group stayed in a luxury hotel.  My room had a large plate glass window overlooking the city.

A big portion of that view was dominated by small homes.

Well, that might be overstating it just a bit - they were homes to families - but if you live in the United States you would not have thought of them as houses.  

They were small shacks of corrugated metal. 

Much less than a mile from where I stood in a beautiful hotel with no shortages of food or luxury where hundreds, thousands of poor and destitute people.

Just getting out of the pond I had lived in up until that point - nestled in the relative comfort of either Wisconsin, Iowa, or South Dakota - we weren't living in the lap of luxury, but we weren't living in a meta hut either.

It made me think - still makes me think - of the abundant blessings I take for granted each day.

Look around you, what do you see: Space for relaxing, eating, sleeping, watching television? Food on the shelves in the kitchen?  Cars  (not just one) in the driveway or garage?  Isn't it amazing - what we are blessed with each day? 

You might not want to think of yourself as 'rich,' maybe not even part of the much ballyhooed 'middle class' (however that is defined); and most of us really, when you get down to it, are blessed with so much.

However, I submit to you - that as much as we like our stuff - each of us would give all of it for our family, our very close friends, our health, the health of our children and those we love and never remember how much we loved that 42" flat screen HDTV.

So, if you can embrace that concept and in your mind's eye release your 'stuff' over the dam - welcome to happier and fuller life of freedom to share your blessings with others. 

Whatever you choose to share will make a difference for many people locally, regionally, nationally, and globally.

And, you'll notice you still have and will enjoy the lots of stuff you are still blessed to own.

Go for it!