Yesterday’s post, Thanksgiving, A U.S. Holiday noted how other countries don’t celebrate Thanksgiving as we do, but they do. There are many countries that celebrate Harvest with a feast and gathering of family and friends. Our celebration is unique in that it has historical significance.
According to a Newsweek article
This week, Emma Meyer wrote that our U.S. Thanksgiving was meant as a remembrance of the first harvest the Pilgrims celebrated with the Native American Indians without whom our Pilgrims may not have survived. It only became a national holiday when Sara Joseph Hale, an 1860’s writer who presented the idea with the belief that “if the nation could sit down at a table,” the rising tensions of the impending Civil War could be averted by a national dinner giving thanks and really exploring “what we are grateful for?”
Isn’t that a wonderful thought? If our nation could sit down together and share a meal and really explore what it is we are grateful for, maybe we could be less divided.
Who else celebrates?
Other countries, including Canada, the U.K., and Liberia, celebrate Thanksgiving. Japan also celebrates though they have linked Labor Day with their version of Thanksgiving as they give thanks for labor and laborers. Being thankful should be a year-round, global idea as we give thanks for the many blessings we have. Even the poor can be thankful for something.
When I complained because I wanted new shoes, my mother would quote the familiar aphorism like this: There once was a man who complained because he couldn’t afford new shoes, and then he saw a boy with no shoes. The boy with no shoes cried because he had no shoes until he met a boy who had no feet. Regardless of our circumstances, we can find something for which to be grateful.
Being grateful is inclusive
A thief hung on the cross beside Jesus and amidst his personal pain and suffering, the thief found hope as he asked Jesus to remember him when “Thou comest into thy kingdom.” And Jesus replied, “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise.” I’m sure the thief was grateful.
Some judge America for being a nation of plenty. I have even heard it said, “Why should we celebrate with a big feast while others go hungry all year?” That is harsh, yet I can see the logic. Could we not celebrate while sharing? Couldn’t we be thankful for the gift of having enough to be generous? And thankful for the positions of power to make a difference for those less fortunate?
Our goals define who we are
Before I chose to go to nursing school, I read a book called, In Transition. It is an awesome book for those looking to transition from one career to another (like myself) but would also be a great book for college students searching for a major. One of the activities was to place goals they suggested into priorities. What is most important? Money? Family? Environment? Location? Power? I came away with many new insights about myself. Two that have stood out were: 1) earn enough money to be generous and 2) have enough power to make a difference in the lives of others. A Nursing career did that for me.
What goals do you have? What do they say about you?
As you review goals for 2023. find goals that define you in the light you want to be seen. I pray God helps us all be defined as generous so we can make a difference.
Remember, you are at the right place when you come to my website and read my blog. Come on back and share a slice of life with me.