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Planes, Trains and Automobiles

It's November and the Thanksgiving holiday is very much top of mind, for me. And what better way to tap into the emotion of the holiday than to watch (again) the tremendous John Hughes movie that lends its name to this post, starring two of my favorites-- Steve Martin and the late John Candy. They make me laugh and they make me cry, and for that, I will always be grateful.

Not surprisingly, the movie wasn't about any of the things mentioned in the title, and I guess that's the point. Our responses to things-- much like our responses to people and places-- are based almost entirely on the way they make us feel, and feelings (like thoughts or another close cousin, emotion) are often not obvious, or readily apparent.

Even though bright, shiny objects may be the focus of our attention in the first instance, they're not what ultimately resonate, or stick with us. As many people have rightly observed, it's often not events or people we remember, but rather, the way they made us feel that lingers on, after the fact.

Isn't that curious? The most obvious things (and, presumably, the easiest to recall), are so often preempted by the way they make us feel. Our immediate senses (sight, sound, touch, taste and smell) are converted into amorphous and highly subjective thoughts, feelings or emotions. Surely, that must happen for a reason.

Thankfully (there's that gratitude thing again), that reason is not the subject of this post. And even if gratitude isn't the first thing I feel about trains, planes, automobiles, people, places or things I happen to encounter, it's what I feel now-- grateful that I've encountered them at all and experienced so many things that life has to offer.

After everything that Dell (Candy's character) experienced in his life, at the end of the movie he was thankful-- grateful-- and that was something he shared with the seemingly most unlikely of people, Neal (Martin's character). As a matter of fact, he shared his sense of gratitude with me and a whole lot of others, who watched the movie.

Thanks for the share-- I'm grateful!


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