It’s Thanksgiving Day in America! How long is your list of things to thank for?
Not about the turkey
Thanksgiving is not just about the turkey. It is actually an embodiment of gratitude by the American people based on the earlier pages of their nation’s history. The tradition first took place in the autumn of 1621 when European colonists put up a celebration for their first harvest. The natives joined the English settlers in the merrymaking. The feast was also a manifestation of the colonists’ gratitude to the natives who helped them survive in their new home. Amid an agreement for the two camps to live peacefully in a common land, the natives taught the English people how to hunt, fish and plant crops. This first Thanksgiving celebration became the foundation of the present occasion that is marked on the fourth Thursday of November every year.
But why are the turkey, pies, cranberry sauce and other trimmings presently associated to Thanksgiving? There is no indication that these things already existed in the 17th century and yet each year almost every home in America gets itself busy preparing these foodstuffs on the Thanksgiving table. Well, thanks to the development of civilization, these fixings found their way into the annual banquet.
Gratitude, a matter of perspective
There is certainly a unique Thanksgiving story in everyone’s life. It may have happened on any day, not particularly on the occasion itself, for each day may reveal something to be grateful about. Gratitude is a matter of perspective. There are those who fail to see the gifts that life offers through the plain joys that come their way. Yet there are also individuals who see the boundless goodwill that God gives to them each day. It really depends on one’s outlook and attitude in life. You may be lying down on a bed of gold and luxury and still feel wretched; or you may be one of those who fend on a daily hand to mouth existence and yet you are able to deeply appreciate life and its bounty.
Giving value to life
There is a story about a blind boy who sat on a sidewalk to beg for money from passersby. In front of the boy was a sign that stated he was asking for help because he was blind. A few people gave some coins. It happened that one man noticed the blind boy. The man gave him a few coins and then took the sign, wrote something and put the sign in front of the blind boy. In a few minutes everyone was filling his can with coins and bills until it was brimming with money. Later in the afternoon the man who changed the beggar’s sign showed up. It was then that the blind boy knew what the man wrote. The sign read: "Today is a beautiful day but I cannot see it." Apparently the people who saw the sign realized how lucky they were for their gift of sight and they showed their gratitude by generously extending help to the blind boy.
Thanksgiving means deep gratitude for whatever you have in life, be as simple as they may be. Thanksgiving also means being thankful for the tribulations that come your way. You may have a hundred reasons to cry but always remember that you receive twice a hundredfold of blessings for every tear that you shed. You are surrounded with presents and it only takes a moment to recognize them. Have you ever noticed the violets blooming beautifully along the path that you walk on every morning? How about the sunrise that greets you through your window each time you wake up? They say the best things in life are free and the most valuable wealth can be found in simple treasures.
Let us all rejoice and be grateful for the gift of life!
Happy Thanksgiving Day to everyone!