“If you think Independence Day is America’s defining holiday, think again. Thanksgiving deserves that title, hands-down.” Tony Snow
From the chair – It will come as no surprise that in today’s America the deeper values of Thanksgiving are not Priority One. This unique American celebration of blessings deserves something better.
Thanksgiving’s slippage is not solely because we don’t care – most do. It’s more like we’re so distracted by so many things that some get lost. Even important things – like Thanksgiving.
It need not be so. In the land of liberty we remain in primary control of our priorities and individual initiative stands as our best source of personal fulfillment.
Those wishing to preserve a tradition of ‘thanks giving’ have an easy jump off point – resetting our holiday auto-pilot.
Consider the words commonly associated with Thanksgiving – turkey (of course), football, family, pumpkin pie, cranberries, travel, nippy weather, and black Friday are a few. Note how few have even remote connection to giving thanks. Under these priorities, it’s very easy for Thanksgiving to become just another work holiday flavored with gastronomy and entertainment. Ironically, giving thanks can get lost in all the bounty.
It’s a counter-intuitive notion, but like most good things, appreciation takes work. Down deep many of us are grateful, but unless we dig it out, our appreciation rests in the darkness. That matters because being thankful – an attitude of gratitude – has hidden value. Here’s a short list —
Appreciation for our blessings makes us – happier, more likeable, healthier, more effective at work, more mentally healthy, of deeper character, more optimistic, less materialistic, more spiritual, stronger in self-respect, sleep better, less self-absorbed, more mature, likely to live longer, more energetic, more active, more resilient, less depressed, more relaxed, friendlier, more intimate, more efficient, more effective, more decisive and more productive.
That’s a lot of good things coming out of one word- T-H-A-N-K-S-G-I-V-I-N-G!
If you’re a conservative thinker who’s concerned about our drifting connection with this special day, resolve to keep your eye on the ball – giving thanks for your blessings – in word, deed and prayer. Then relax and enjoy that bonus of feast, a family (our Buncombe Republican family if no other) and maybe a little football and a nap…