Thanksgiving: Feel Free to Double-Dip on Gratitude

Thanksgiving: Feel Free to Double-Dip on Gratitude

Thanksgiving: Feel Free to Double-Dip on Gratitude

A quote: “Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.” ~~ Marcus Tullius Cicero

I will confess that when I first started writing a piece for this morning I was feeling anything but thankful. I started and stopped, deleted and left my desk in disgust more than once. The usual recounting of the history of Thanksgiving came off flat. Thinking about Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation in the midst of the Civil War just wasn’t doing it for me.

I’m normally a half-glass-full kind of gal but right now I’m just ticked-off. You, too? Hey, come sit by me and let’s go over all the things we can be angry about together. Parents you can’t visit? Check. Kids or grandkids struggling with online “school” since March? Check. Tired of staring at the same walls with little change for eight months? Oh, hon, tell me about it!

So I will now tell you what I finally told myself to get my head right.

Get over yourself. Stop wallowing in self-pity or anger or shaking your fist in the direction of your state’s capital.

You, me, we all have so much more to be grateful for. Yes, if I can thwap myself on the forehead in front of the mirror and yell …

via GIPHY

… you can read this and take some hard truths.

The winter of 1620-21 saw nearly half of the Mayflower’s passengers – men, women and children – die. The Civil War saw 620,000 casualties out of a national population of 31 million. Do you know the brutal conditions and brutality faced by Americans during WWI? WWII? Ever wonder how a woman of the 1860’s got to be a sensational sharpshooter like Annie Oakley? Because at the age of 8 she was honing her hunting skills in order to provide food for her widowed mother and siblings. Did you know that President Calvin Coolidge lost a beloved son. aged 16, to an infected blister? Even electricity – which makes our modern age possible – wasn’t in wide use until the 1930s.

If ever there was a cliché to be obliterated, it is the one that says our great-grands lived in simpler times.

Yet all those people, from Pilgrims to a Depression era family, took the time to reflect and give thanks for the good things they did have. They practiced gratitude for the blessings of life, no matter how simple.

How can you and me, still living in the best country on earth, blessed with lives more comfortable and safe than any prior era, not stop and find all the good things in our lives? Where is our gratitude? Where is our humility?

Wiser people than we have always known the value of tradition and ritual. It binds us to our families and our communities and represents a pause in our every day life. An interruption with meaning. Let’s face it, human nature tends to focus on the immediate negative.

This is why the celebration of Thanksgiving, a day that transcends all race or religion in America, is so important. It is a national tradition and a time of reflection on our blessings. Our culture suffers from a lack of gratitude. Today, please help yourself to a second serving.

featured image, Adobe Stock standard license.

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1 Comment
  • GWB says:

    Our culture suffers from a lack of gratitude.
    Yep. A few other things, too, but gratitude is a big one. (And not having anyone to whom to give thanks.)

    Today, please help yourself to a second serving.
    I get TWO scoops? But the media made that sound bad. Even for a President.
    (Fie on them.)

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