Being Thankful

Here in the USA, today is Thanksgiving Day. According to the history we (of a certain age) were taught, it is the day set aside to commemorate the first European settlers here in the New World, and their supposed feast of the bounty of their new home. It was taught as a feast that included the already resident Native Americans. We also all know (now) that was a bit of an idealized story, and not quite how things went. Acknowledging that doesn’t negate the holiday, however. We just need to change the focus a bit, I think.

Let’s be thankful. That may seem a difficult task these days, I know. From worldwide unrest, domestic political and social turmoil, and societal upheaval, to personal difficulties, loss, and fear, it may seem there is not much to be thankful for. But here, now, what we need more than ever is to move the focus inward, to get a close-up of our own individual place. I think most of us will find that we do, indeed, have things to be thankful for. Even if it’s just a small slice of our lives, there is something there.

I am thankful for family, first. Always there, willing to help as needed, to provide words of support or comfort. I am thankful that we have a warm house, food on the table, clothes to wear, and some amount of freedom to do and have what we want to. I am thankful for the people I know who are not family- those I can talk to face to face, and those that exist in the electronic world. I am thankful for life, for the ability to get up every day, and function as a (somewhat) normal human being.

On this day of giving thanks, let’s all try to be more mindful of our gifts, and less critical of the gaps and losses. Take a moment to think about you- and what you have to be thankful for. I suspect most will find they have more than they may have thought.

And then, sit down and eat that turkey and all the trimmings, or whatever your traditional Thanksgiving meal is. Have a good drink. Watch some football, in whichever form that takes for you. Above all, let’s keep the Thanks in Thanksgiving!

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