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Sometimes, keeping on the sunny side is a challenge.

Tragedy across the globe and hard times in our own homes can make us forget the blessings of life.

But trying times are not new. Every generation goes through a certain amount of chaos and uncertainty. The remedy: Keep smiling and be thankful for the things that are right in the world.

Thanksgiving is a needed holiday, says Dr. Norman Goldner, a professor emeritus at the University of Detroit.

“There always has to be a counter to anything that exists — otherwise we would have an imbalance in life,” Goldner says. “It’s important, because of the turmoil in the world, to affirm our positive, loving and generous connections (with family and friends) at Thanksgiving.”

Goldner also urges people to use the holiday as a time to reach beyond their family circles.

It’s a good idea. The more understanding and cooperation that people of diverse cultures and religions can achieve, the better the world will be despite the horrendous killings and hatred that exists.

Dr. Robby Stewart, associate dean of the College of Arts and Science at Oakland University, also stresses the need to celebrate the holiday. He says even with all the problems in the world, there are good things taking place.

“It’s not all bad — people can look through the turmoil and see a more positive outcome,” Stewart notes.

The psychology professor says he is encouraged when he reads about parents in France trying to find a way to explain what happened to their children.

“People are focusing on helping others cope with these matters and are doing constructive things,” he says.

Dr. Eun-Jung Katherine Kim, an assistant professor at Wayne State, adds another perspective.

She says troubles should not diminish our gratitude. Thanksgiving is a chance for people to express their appreciation for the good will and sacrifice of friends and family.

And Dr. Kevin Bratton, a dean at Oakland Community College, agrees that people need to concentrate on the positive, saying “don’t take yourself so seriously, let yourself have some fun sometimes.”

The turmoil in your life may subside but it probably won’t go away. So, take the advice of these experts and for at least a few hours this Thanksgiving watch some football or a holiday movie; over eat a bit; and be thankful for the company of family and friends.

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