My wife and I are really into Bears. To be specific American Black Bears. There is a groups of people on Facebook that my wife Becky communicates with on a pretty regualr basis.

There is a group on Facebook called project Hope. Now Hope was a Black Bear cub born about 2 years ago that was killed by a hunter during the last Bear hunting season in September in Northern Minnesota. Her memory lives on thru these people and they have decicated a portion of their time to help raise awareness and raise funds in the effort to conserve and study the North American Black Bear.

The moderator of the group is a person by the name of Jennifer Smith. Now Jennifer wrote this piece about gratitude. I read this and I thought to myself that I should share this with the KORD faithful. So with Jennifer's permission here is her take on Gratitiude.

It's hard to show gratitude sometimes. It seems downright ludicrous to give thanks for bills, illness, war or loss. Yet these act as point of reference. I'm not thankful for hurt, but I'm thankful for the feeling of recovering from hurt. I know I would likely never recognize this feeling, at least not to the extent that I do, without the difficult aspects of life. The good days are that much richer by comparison.

I hope that each of you realizes the magnitude of your kindness here, because it doesn't end with this page. It doesn't end with Facebook and it most assuredly doesn't end with the internet. The essence of positivity, of selflessness, is absolutely necessary in this world and indeed perhaps the only thing that will ever make a real difference. When it comes to giving of yourself, there is no small act. There is no big act. Giving is giving. You hug a friend, you write a letter, you plant a flower, you take a stand. Whatever it is. I've seen your kindness in action. And it's yet another thing we have to give thanks for.

You don't have to pretend to be happy here. In's very difficult to do. I've tried it. On hard days, I've tried to log on and go with the flow, act as though I'm of a cheerful disposition and not let on like anything is wrong. Invariably, within minutes, I *am* happy. I read a supportive post or see a silly picture. I smile. I feel better...even if just a little.

Are these moments life changing? Well, many would argue that no, they are not. But I think it's relative. Our life is made up of a million moments, and if the bad are made good, how can that NOT change my life?

The culture of holidays seems to permeate the world. We celebrate our beliefs in a myriad of ways, some which may seem downright curious to others. And while most holidays pay homage to spiritual ideals, deities or other religious figures, many seem to be connected by a common thread; family. The day after Thanksgiving, I am still giving thanks. We are a family of friends. I am thankful for you.

Thank you Jennifer Smith! So I hope you enjoy a little gratitude this Christmas. If you want to learn a little more about the American Black Bear. Check out