Thanksgiving power, service power and compassion power can never be underestimated. They are key ingredients to succeeding as a lawyer, in any other line of work, and in life. They remove us from being self centered and draw us to bring out our greatness.
Giving thanks and generosity are powerfully beneficial, but the Thanksgiving holiday also has a history of misery
I pondered whether this year to post a Thanksgiving blog entry. Turkeys have no thanks to give on Thanksgiving. The Native Americans (and Native American Heritage Day should not be on the materialistic Black Friday) who have been slaughtered, forcibly relocated, deprived of land, and subjected to many other violations and indignties need always to be remembered and respected. (On Thanksgiving many instead observe a National Day of Mourning at Cole’s Hill, Plymouth, Massachusetts.) How great if if everyone always had coexisted as peacefully and harmoniously as portrayed in the story of the first Thanksgiving celebration.
Virginia criminal lawyer on the power of gratitude, service & compassion
Many of my criminal defense clients feel in dire straits, whether as a result of their pending criminal cases or because of years of suffering from depression, anxiety and post traumatic stress disorder. For those clients who ask me my approach to leading a fulfilling rather than angst-ridden life, I start by pointing out the power of gratitude, service and compassion, which is an essential way of practicing the very non-duality that keeps us powerfully in the present without the burden of worry nor higher risk of failure. I also mention the importance of sensible daily diet, rest and exercise, because this is our only body for experiencing life on earth. I sometimes point some of the many people who find possibilities to transcend their financial and personal limits by quantum leaps, including such immigrants as Kazi Mannan, who was thrilled to save enough from a graveyard shift minimum wage job to open a thriving D.C. limousine service and restaurant Sakina, from where he feeds every homeless visitor for free. Fearlessness of death also is essential. Balanced humor and playfulness also works wonders, maintaining the power of the child within, which for me includes treating the courthouse battlefield as a playground. Being excited for the next self discovery around the corner helps make such discoveries and also keeps us powerfully positive.
Grateful to my family, workers, and the many others who inspire me in life and as a criminal defense lawyer
I am grateful to my wife, who consistently encourages me with love on the path; my son, who is the very definition of love, joy and play; my family; my clients, staff, and colleagues who care about helping each other all rise in our criminal defense work; and workers who help make our lives better often receiving little to no thanks along the way, including those who clean our workplaces and homes and take away trash.
Life is filled with the extraordinary
I am grateful to the artistic geniuses who help turn an otherwise bland or heartless-seeming day or place into the extraordinary, by simply visualizing or hearing their physical or musical art.
One of those artists is Japan‘s Hokusai Katsushika (1760-1849). With my family at Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery, on this Thanksgiving day (and thanks are best given daily), I revisited Hokusai‘s delightful Hokusai at Play, whose child at play painting shown above captures the essence of turning a child’s boring experience at an annual Shinto ceremony (described here and here) into the play of tugging on his mother’s arm. I am grateful to such amazing musicians as Woody Shaw, who not only spun magic with the trumpet, but spoke to me in the kindest way when I met him over thirty years ago. I am also grateful to such multi-talented geniuses as Geoffrey Holder, who constantly saw artistic possibilities rather than human failings, and relished every breath, right into his remaining breaths when delighting in Bill Evans playing Fauré’s Pavane.
Thanks to everyone who does their part to make this world a better, more caring and more humane place.
Fairfax, Virginia criminal lawyer Jonathan L. Katz has successfully defended thousands of clients since 1991 in criminal court. To discuss your case with Jon, please call his staff at 703-383-1100, to schedule a confidential consultation.