Some dates are prolific, in terms of birth production of the famous and notable. Of course, we all are incredible beings in our own right. But most of us don’t get the worldwide recognition that certain others do. Notably, this date, October 20th, produced a swarm of the famed and celebrated.
The first one that jumped out, not literally, (thankfully), was Bella Lugosi. Born Béla Ferenc Dezső Blaskó, he was famous for portraying Count Dracula in the original 1931 film. Creepy. And then, he went on to play many other roles in various other horror films. 1882-1956 (aged 73)
When I was a kid, I loved — and at the same time — hated Bella Lugosi. When those old movies would come on, with him creeping up and out of coffins, I would go absolutely stark raving mad with fright. I’d cover my head with an afghan that my Mom had knitted, and peep through the holes in the yarn, to barely see the screen. What a great, great thing of my early years. One that I remember vividly. I started wearing garlic necklaces when I was seven.
There are so many other birthdays today too. There’s James Chadwick (1891-1974). He is a very smart science guy who discovered the neutron, and he won the Nobel Prize for that work. I like him the most, for that. The atom wasn’t complete without him. (Well, it was. We just didn’t know it yet.) He also was incredibly important in influencing Franklin Roosevelt to fund atomic research in the U.S. He moved here, from England, and headed the Manhattan Project.
Micky Mantle was born on this date too. (1931-1995) He was a great baseball player for the NY Yankees. A tremendous outfielder, first baseman, and hitter — one of my all-time favorites. He wore my favorite number too. Seven.
There’s Joyce Brothers. (1927-2013) She was an American pop psychologist ($64,000 Question, Naked Gun). For some reason, her long horse-face, sad-eyes always made me giggle a little. I don’t know how she was as a psychologist, but her face is clear as a bell to me.
Another of my top-pick actors, Viggo Mortensen (1958). He was great in Lord of the Rings, but he’s done skads of other work too.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Snoop Dog. And Kamala Harris. 1971 and 1964, respectively. There are many, many more famey birthdays, today, but if I listed them all, I’d be as mad as a March hare. And hare we are in October.
One more big thing happened on this date. In 1864, our extremely wonderful, wise, and well-mannered, US President Abraham Lincoln, formally established Thanksgiving as a national holiday. He must have recognized in his heart that giving thanks was the noblest of things. And as such, he made room for a day in which we celebrate just that. As I mentioned, Lincoln was a man of decency and virtue. What I wouldn’t give if our current President had 1/100th of his principles and honor.
But the thing of all of this? In some way, you see, all these people listed above have touched my life. In one instance, or happening, their life intersected mine. My path was affected. It changed. Maybe not significantly, but it moved this way or that. And now I am here, writing this, exactly when I should be. So I am grateful for them, and the lessons I’ve learned, or the directions I took, as a result.
Our life is packed with these little moments, each one of them bumping into the next. All these “instances” — putting us on our way — to the next thing, which happens to be, the moment we are in right now. I’ve heard someone say that we have no enemies, only teachers. This is true of everyone. If we allow this, we continue our human essence of learning and progressing. We grow. And for that we should give thanks. And it is okay to give thanks to no one in particular, if that is your way. Just thanks. Appreciation, for the fact that we are here, doing what we do, in our magnificent, wonderful, yet perhaps un-famous ways.
Like I said. This day, is a tremendously prolific day.
“Thankfulness creates gratitude which generates contentment that causes peace.”
― Todd Stocker
As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.
— John F. Kennedy
It is through gratitude for the present moment that the spiritual dimension of life opens up.
— Eckhart Tolle