The Giving of Thanks
When this post goes live it will be Thanksgiving Day in the USA. There’s a bunch of traditions around the day, many of them involving eating oneself into a food coma – which, for this particular holiday is a legitimate thing – and the one I find most important, the notion of giving thanks for the good things in one’s life.
Obviously, this is something that shouldn’t be limited to a single day, but having a day specifically devoted to giving thanks is a good thing. The Thanksgiving mythos – starving settlers spared by friendly local tribes and having a big harvest feast together in friendship and of course said settlers being exceedingly thankful for the help – may or may not accurately reflect what actually happened back then, but it’s a good myth to have.
It’s one that says “It’s good to do for those who can’t do for themselves” and at the same time says “Be grateful for what you have and very grateful for those who choose to help you when you need it”. The two combine into a kind of “do unto others” guideline to help those in need because there will certainly be a time when you are in need and may well have someone else help you.
“Pay it forward” comes to mind. So many good things can’t be paid back – the best anyone can do is offer as much help as they can to others who need it.
That said, Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate the day, and happy Thursday to those who don’t. May you find pleasure in helping those in need, and may others help you when you find yourselves in need.