Wikipedia notes that Thanksgiving, while a more secular American holiday today, originally had its roots as a special celebration of the fall harvest. The website notes that the first “Thanksgiving” holiday in American history occurred in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The website further notes that across time, cultures and religions, there are numerous rituals and ceremonies of special prayers of thanksgiving that were given during the harvest times throughout the year. And so it is that all of our ancestors had this reminder, the harvest, to give thanks for what they had worked hard to produce.
Doesn’t that feel different from our lifestyle today?
Of course we are all working hard in our jobs, studies, and lives. We all work hard to make it in this world. And we have many things to be thankful for. What is your ritual for Thanksgiving Day? Maybe you travel to commune with family or your family is coming to you. Maybe you say a prayer around a table with loved ones at your side. Maybe you are working or alone on Thanksgiving. Maybe the day goes by without giving thanks for something.
Do you feel like you spend enough time giving thanks for what you have?
For your health, for your friends? For the shelter and safety that you have? For the food on your table? For your work or job? For the faith that you have? For the moment that exists right now?
Thanksgiving Day is a good reminder to practice this important practice everyday. This practice helps to cultivate appreciation, and this is particularly important in your relationships. Ask yourself, how many times today did you give thanks for the partner in your life, for the child or children in your life? For your parents, grandparents, friends? Would you like to be more thankful in your life?
Let us take the time everyday to give thanks for the bounties of our lives.