Thursday, November 27, 2014

Keeping the "thanks" beyond Thanksgiving...

Even though I am an American citizen (and definitely feel very American) I wasn't born in the United States so Thanksgiving is sort of a "learned" and "adopted" holiday for me.  I celebrated my first Thanksgiving at 15 and even though it has been 18 years since that first time, I haven't necessarily grown fond of turkey and all the foods that are typical of this holiday and definitely not fond of Black Friday shopping and all the craziness that comes with that!
What I HAVE grown fond of, however, is the "art" of giving THANKS....and I call this an "art" because we often go through life forgetting how blessed with are to have all we have.  Even the most trivial possessions are often taken for granted and this is a great time to reflect and look back at how many times we fail to appreciate our day to day gifts.  Being able to understand the value of our life and everything in it is definitely an art that not everyone masters; it requires reflection and introspection.
When was the last time you went out to celebrate a special occasion and spent $100 on yourself? On a meal?  On a gift?  Did you know that in a developing country, $100 could feed a family of four...for a year?  Have you stopped to think about how many people won't have ANY food this Thanksgiving? Or any other day? Do you ever count your blessings and think about how many people are not as lucky?
And of course by no means do I think that spending money on yourself or splurging on a meal is wrong at all, but what I do mean to say is that giving "Thanks" should be done every day and every time we look at others who are less fortunate than us we should also find ways to help them and inspire them to give thanks as well.
"Thanksgiving" isn't about eating turkey, watching a football game and shopping like a maniac the day after...it is about understanding that blessings shouldn't be taken for granted and that giving THANKS should be an every day thing rather than a once a year activity.
I happen to be very religious so I have a firm believe that the blessings in my life are God given, I thank God every day for EVERYTHING I am and EVERYTHING I have and not a day goes by that I don't stop to appreciate even the smallest gifts.  But you don't have to be religious to give THANKS; if you don't believe in God then simply thank the universe or the people around you but never ever forget to keep the "thanks" beyond Thanksgiving!
Challenge yourself to do ONE charitable work this season.  Donate canned food! Donate toys! Write letters and send care packages to a prisoner!  Do SOMETHING!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!  I hope yours is twice is good as mine! :)

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