by Gila Hayes

As we head into the 2020 holiday season, I find myself feeling distinctly unmerry. The uncertainty following the general election, continued civil unrest and renewed unconstitutional restrictions imposed out of fear of the corona virus are only a few of the reasons for feeling like misfortune is piling up on top of misfortune. I have to keep reminding myself that living conditions for most of us are so much superior to the challenges that faced past generations, or even situations our contemporaries from less prosperous countries endure, that failing to feel thankful on Thanksgiving Day and the upcoming holiday month is rather shameful.

Everyone has their own way of coping with poor-me moments when it is hard to feel grateful. Some focus on charitable activities, others make lists of what’s good in their lives or take action and get busy battling their biggest sources of trouble. Big picture thinking is worth adopting, too, I think. While I cannot remember who said it, I often look for the truth in this statement: “No one wins at chess by moving forward every time; sometimes the player has to move back to reach a stronger strategic position.”

Here at the Network, we are extraordinarily blessed to have the strategic advantage of 19,000-plus like-minded men and women joined together to pitch in and help when one of our number suffers a second attack from the legal system after fighting off a violent criminal. We continue to build a stronger Legal Defense Fund, knowing that the years ahead contain bigger challenges.

Most of our members will never meet one another and yet many make contributions to the Legal Defense Fund in addition to paying their yearly dues. While you will probably never have the pleasure of an in-person “thank you” and a grateful handshake from the 25 Network members for whom our Legal Defense Fund has paid legal expenses after self defense, I hope that you, our generous members, can put yourselves in those folks’ shoes and vicariously experience how much good your contribution to further build up the Legal Defense Fund did for them.

As we enter the 2020 holiday season, there is much about which to feel uneasy. For me, though, there is much comfort in knowing that we have each other’s backs and none of us will face the second stage of the fight alone. I am grateful for each Network family member who has joined Marty, Vincent and me in this mission.

To read more of this month's journal, please click here.