We hope you all spend this week in gratitude for the parts of your life most important to you.
Thanksgiving has different meanings for different people, but we all can use the important concept of giving thanks.
We do not call the holiday “thanks having” or “the day of thanks” but instead make the holiday an action. We must give thanks as an action.
That presents an important distinction. The act of taking stock of our lives and situations and giving gratitude, forces us to understand that we owe many parts of our lives to forces outside ourselves. What we call those forces differ. For some, it’s God; for some, it’s the universe; for some, it’s the country we’re a part of or the hard work of our ancestors and current community members.
Most correctly, we owe thanks to a combination of such factors. Understanding that we owe thanks allows us to understand our community as we should and to feel the empathy for others that we should.
We earn some of what we have. But not all of it.
Knowing this, we think of those less fortunate than us. We’re give thanks for our families. There are people in the community who have recently lost loved ones or who find themselves at home on the holidays.
We give thanks for our food in our warm houses, but there are many who have neither, who have economic hardship and who need help. We have organizations and churches that recognize these needs and work to address them. But the vast majority of us can always use a bit of reminding to keep such things in mind.
We give thanks for being safe and comfortable and having an extra day off, but others have to work on that Thursday, either keeping us safe like our law enforcement and our fire department or just to serve our needs.
Knowing all these things, afterwards hopefully we don’t just give thanks Thursday but continue to give thanks all year long and with that thanks have the understanding of how lucky we all are.
For just as things are given, they can be so quickly removed, and carrying that understanding lets us look to help all members of our community and seek acceptance and understanding before we judge. That, perhaps, is the best way we can give thanks.