When I was a child I heard a lot about the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving, about how it was a day of expressing gratitude for freedom and all the blessings that go with it. Is that still taught in the schools? Is it ever mentioned anymore? When I hear people ask, "What are you doing for Thanksgiving?" I never hear anyone say, "I'm going to express gratitude." Maybe I'm just out of the loop, but it seems like we celebrate a different kind of holiday today.
Now I mostly hear about families and friends getting off work and coming together for a really fun day of visiting, watching a parade and a football game on TV, and wishing they hadn't eaten so much of the usual feast. Some even say a blessing before they eat. Then there's the huge shopping day after Thanksgiving when all the stores try to outdo each other selling a huge amount of merchandise to stampeding customers. And I agree that this is a wonderful way for some people to spend this holiday each year. Hey. I'm not a spoilsport. (Is that still a word?) But where's the gratitude--the reason for the holiday in the first place? Is it still there--we just don't talk about it anymore?
There is a calmness to a life lived in gratitude, a quiet joy. Ralph H. Blum
Maybe we shouldn't assign one day each year for giving thanks, because it's so easy on that day to focus on everything but gratitude. How about making every day a time to focus on how blessed we are. Yes, there is pain in life--some have more than others--but we're still here, and it is possible to live life with a peaceful heart while we deal with whatever pain may come.
Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it into words is all that is necessary. Margaret Cousins
Next to love, gratitude is one of the most powerful healers we have. Say thank you from your heart, and feel the shift deep inside. Say it everyday, and watch for the changes that take place in you and your life. Develop a daily attitude of gratitude. It works.
I thank you for being there.