The Thanksgiving holiday affords us the opportunity to take stock of our blessings. We should not need a holiday to remind us of how fortunate many of us are. But this holiday does seem to slow us down between the cleaning and the cooking enough to make us mindful of all that we should be thankful for. As many of us gather around tables so laden with food that we can’t consume it all, we would be wise to remember those less fortunate.
It has been said that most people need only three things to be happy; health, close relationships, and enough prosperity to do and have what is important to us. Now, the operative word in that last sentence is “need,” which is different than “want.” Too often we fail to keep our needs in clear focus, and chase the wants that will never truly satisfy us. Perhaps for today, Thanksgiving Day 2016, we can focus on our blessings.
As our family and friends gather around our Thanksgiving tables this season, we are missing one of our most cherished family members, who stayed home to care for his father who is ill. That is putting family first, and while we will miss him being with us, we know his priority is in the right place. When family is truly our priority, we make those decisions. This is an example of both health and the close relationship of family.
I am thinking of some who recently lost a family member, some from the natural passing of life, and how this Thanksgiving will surely be different for them. I am also thinking of the recent tragedy of the school bus accident in Tennessee which involved the loss of life of several children. I cannot imagine the insufferable grief of the families of those children. Words are insufficient. I can only pray for peace and comfort for the families of those children.
As our family consumes more food than any of us need over the next several days, I can’t help but remember that some people in this affluent nation of ours do not have enough food. There is no excuse for that in our prosperous country, but for whatever political and other reasons, we collectively continue to accept that. I do not have an answer for that, other than I know that I do not individually do enough to help with that problem. I should not worry as much about what we as a country do or do not do to alleviate this disgrace; I should do more myself. Just writing about it isn’t enough.
Considering prosperity, having enough financial resources to have and do what is important to us, it should be unacceptable to us that there are many people who are suffering from the cold because they can’t afford what it costs to stay warm. I am up very early this am, and am a little chilly sitting writing this blog. But I can turn up my heat, and I have blankets that can keep me warm. There are many people who do not have heat or enough blankets to stay warm.
This Thanksgiving holiday many of us will throw out food because we have so much that we can’t eat it all, while some will not have enough to eat. Many of us will gather around fireplaces and stay warm, while some people will not get warm at all.
Many of us will play and enjoy our children and grandchildren, while some will no longer see their children, grandchildren, or other loved ones, again.
Those of us who can, let’s count our blessings. And not just that. Let’s do something for some of those less fortunate. Something. Anything. To show our humanity.
Hold your loved ones tight, and grieve and pray for those who can’t.