Today I am grateful mainly for my family. That means so many things, one of which is embracing my Finnish heritage and the long line of ancestors rooted in a culture that is embedded in my DNA. I used to cringe at the old-country sounding accents that gave us away. “What hicks!” I thought. I wanted to blend in with the rest of society and not be associated with a stubborn, unsophisticated bunch of hardheads. But I was missing the boat. The qualities I most appreciate in myself and others today are endurance and longsuffering—stick-to-it-iveness. These characteristics are important in this instant culture where everything and seemingly everyone demand an instant solution to every problem. The Finns have a word for this intestinal fortitude, or guts, you might say: sisu. The word is not directly translatable but it is the quality you see in a person facing adversity who bears up and doesn’t give in. It engenders a resourcefulness and practicality—characteristics for which Finns are famous. So, yes, I am grateful for my roots. I give thanks to the many souls who have gone before me and on this All Souls Day it seems fitting to do so.