Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Giving Thanks - for the good people, good things and good events in our lives


Giving thanks = what's important.


The importance of the fourth-Thursday-in-November holiday is well known to a domestic American audience, but of course not so well known elsewhere. In Canada, the same Thanksgiving holiday is celebrated in early October, but otherwise the holiday is not recognized elsewhere in the world. There is no equivalent in Australia, or New Zealand, or the UK, or anywhere else. I’ve been fortunate to be part of large Thanksgiving gatherings in the US, and in Canada. I also had a singular chance to be part of a group of Americans and others celebrating on the other side of the world, and that was an enjoyable and meaningful experience.

In the US, Thanksgiving is most often known for gatherings of families, and the holiday creates the busiest travel days of the year. Of course, the holiday started a few centuries ago as a giving of thanks for a good harvest. What I most like today is a common practice where family members share what they are most thankful for. That includes all those present at the dinner table, from the youngest to oldest.

What to be thankful for?

I think the process of thinking what we are thankful for is important, and really, far too important to be left to only one day per year. Thinking about what we are grateful for should be practiced every day, and especially when we have a great experience. 

I have been fortunate, in recent years, to be something of a mentor to a younger family member, now a young teenager. When I’ve taken that person out to do fun or interesting things, they’ve remarked that they wish we could do it again, or more often. 

My response has been something like this. I agree, and this was really interesting (or a lot of fun).  And, I really enjoyed doing it with you. But the most important thing now is that we remember the moment. Remember how interesting it was (or how fun it was), and make that a highlight in your life that you want to remember. Think of this highlight, remember it, and give thanks for it. Make your life about remembering all of these good things, and be thankful.

The moments we give thanks for.

I often think about what I am thankful for, and try to appreciate those good or great moments in my life. Today, as I do many days, I give thanks for all of the good people, good things and good events in my life.

If you sit at a table on Thursday, and give thanks, good. If you don’t celebrate the holiday, that’s okay, too. Simply take this moment, right now, to think about whatever good things you’ve had in your life, and be thankful.

Wil

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