To the editor:

With so much division, contention and isolation making news and raising concerns, consider this opportunity to come together with others, build connections and grow in gratefulness. Let's build on the idea that there is more right and good in this world than there is wrong and negative. We find what we look for, and living gratefully can help us find meaning and energy.

With these goals in mind, join us for the first Rivertown Gratefulness Gathering from 6:30-8 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 15, at ArtSpace River Lofts in Hastings. Each month in 2019, another gathering will take place. Next month's gathering will be Feb. 12. Dozens of gatherings will also be taking place in other communities around the country and world. Each is a standalone meeting, so make the ones that you can.

The theme for the first meeting is "Greater than Gratitude." Gratefulness is more than a thank you or acknowledgement. It is pausing and paying attention in our busy days and noticing the gifts all around; from clean air and water to paved streets, from supportive people to physical and mental capabilities.

Contact local host Lisa Valentine at for more information or visit

Lisa Valentine