For the month of November some of my friends are doing a blessing of the day each day. Prompted by my buddy Heather (and digi-scrapper extraordinaire), I have been doing mine privately each day. Today I’m going to share my thoughts.

Today I feel blessed for having the gift of strength.

This is an under-used gift that we all have. While we do all occasionally fall short on the use of this gift, I have separated myself from people who seem to never use it at all. This includes former friends and members of my own family. Strength to me is the most important thing a person has. Backbone. Moral, spiritual, political, scientific, even literary strength is something that I admire most in people.

Strength is knowing what you believe in and standing up for it. Strength is listening, really listening, to the ideas of others even though they oppose your own. Strength is saying no to your friends even if it means being unpopular. Strength is crying if you have to, helping when you don’t have to, and knowing to stay out of the way when it isn’t your place.

Strength is picking someone up instead of putting them down. It’s respectfully disagreeing. Strength is protesting your government when they are wrong, speaking your mind and standing on line to vote.

Strength is digging deep within yourself to pull out the best you have. Strength is recognizing that what you give is more important than what you get. Strength is telling your child no, and sticking with it.

Strength is dusting off your knees, putting your hands together, and saying thanks to God. Strength is realizing that other religions, or those who choose no religion have values and morals that are just as important as your own. Strength is not using a strong arm. Strength is using a kind heart.

Strength is admitting when you are wrong. Strength is apologizing and doing something to make up for your mistakes. And strength is accepting someone’s sincere apology.

I am thankful for strength. I hope that I can teach my children to have the kind of strength that allows them to stand up on their own two feet long after I am gone. I hope that my strength and their strength and the combined strength of our friends and family makes this world a better place than it was when we came into it.

Be strong.