• Posted on November 23, 2017 at 11:08 am

Thanksgiving Day – a quintessentially American celebration rooted in their history and culture. Yet we don’t all need to have suffered the exigencies of those first settlers, or have been born on the North American continent to appreciate the fundamental message of this major American holiday.

A day in which everyone comes together with family and/or friends, a day in which to celebrate what is truly precious in our lives and to give thanks for it. Why aren’t we ALL celebrating a ‘thanksgiving day’ of our own? Surely we all have a great deal to be thankful for? I cannot think of anything lovelier than taking the time and effort to come together with loved ones and giving thanks for all our good fortune, to take stock of just how many good things we have in our lives and acknowledge how lucky we all are.

You don’t think that you have very much? That life has dealt you a raw deal lately? Well, you are reading this for a start, so you must have a certain lifestyle and physical/financial ability.

Let me explain. If you are looking at this page, you can read. There are still too many people in the world who are denied this form of education. So that is one thing to be thankful for. You are using a machine to access these pages – either your own, or one you have borrowed – but lots of people still don’t have access to anything like this, so that is also something that you can be grateful for. And you are using electricity to power it. Again, thousands of people work around the clock to provide you with this facility, for which we should all be very thankful – can you imagine your life without it?

You get my meaning? We ALL have so much to give thanks for. We have our very life… no matter how poor, or unwell or lonely or rubbish it may seem, no matter what blows have been dealt us or challenges we have been presented with. And most importantly, we have choice. Choice is perhaps the greatest gift of human life and we can use it, every minute of every waking moment.

What do you choose to do? Well, you might choose to click the ‘off’ button on this page, of course! But I really hope that you don’t. Regardless of how you might be feeling right now, you can actively take the decision to make someone else’s life just that little bit better. For example, the person in the room there with you now, or the next person that you meet, smile at them… say something nice to them… compliment them on something… give them a hug or tell them you love them. Yes, I know that some people might have an odd reaction – wonder what you want or if you are feeling alright! But something as tiny as a smile can change the whole mood of where you are sitting right now, even if you are on your own and you are only smiling to yourself. It can begin to change the tone of your day and that of the people around you. Something so tiny, so easy to do. Try it and see!

And just be glad that you can.

As we approach the Christmas/Midwinter season, we are all thinking about presents and what gifts we might give and receive. How about starting off with a very personal gift of kindness, from you to someone near you? Not all gifts have to come wrapped in shiny paper.

This evening, my family and I are going to come together for our own celebratory meal; to think about all that has happened this past year – good and bad – and to give thanks for everything, for it ALL teaches us something which we can learn and benefit from.

How might you celebrate this day of thanksgiving?

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