What are you thankful for? Is it what you have, who you love, where you live, your spirit, your health or a combination of all the above? Have you ever asked yourself, who is thankful for me? Although that question may appear self serving it is not as self-centric as you may think. It is a personal assessment of your value to others. When the question is answered with humility rather than egotistically it becomes a selfless approach toward your value to the world around you. If you believe you have value, what a wonderful element of your life to be thankful for. What value do you bring to the table, and what aspect of your behavior, personality, and character creates your value recipe? As there is a variety of food that makes for a scrumptious Thanksgiving meal, there are many wonderful characteristics of you that make you a valuable human being. It might be as simple as your energizing smile, or as complex as your skill on the operating table, but both have value.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday because it is more about quiet reflection, gratitude, and the humanity we demonstrate to others, then the manic accumulation of more and lack of human consideration that begins the day after. On a Thursday Americans reach out to and provide for those who may have little to be thankful for, and the Friday after trample one another to get the newest piece of technology. The irony of human behavior is always enlightening, and sometimes disheartening. What is more important when applied to the value of you, what you get or what you give back? You will discover the more thoughtful you are of others the more meaningful, rewarding and fulfilling your life will be.
We all like nice things, but what you drive, live in and wear does not by itself structure a personal character of substance and quality. It has always been and will continue to be a consistency of acting on the principles and values you believe in, resulting in the betterment of those around you that will be the type of character that is most respected and treasured. Thanksgiving may include stuffing, but it is not about stuff. It is about family, gratitude, humanity and the practice of being more selfless than selfish. It is also a time to express to those who perceive they have no value to reinforce and validate to them that they do. To hope is to believe the future will be brighter. However, it is also important to realize that what you personally hope for will only come to fruition when you participate in the process of making it happen. A couch potato has little hope of getting off the couch if they feel someone else is to do it for them.
This Thanksgiving take a moment to express to someone you love an aspect of their personality or character that you believe inspires others to look up to them and respect them. Maybe it is their humility, compassion, intelligence, empathy, attitude, energy or other positive attribute they possess, but this day share your appreciation for them with them. It is also a day with family to revisit, reinforce and renew the very core values that reflect what your family stands for and believes in. What are your family's core values? It is a discussion worth having as it brings an aspect of understanding and unity that as a family we are in the challenge of striving to live a fulfilled life together.
Every family has its ups, downs, successes, failures, joys and sorrows, and dysfunction will always abound. However, seeing the goodness in each other, reflecting on happy memories rather than sad ones, realizing life is too short to worry about all the things wrong with it, and celebrating the simple things will make for a thankful, harmonious and joyful turkey day celebration. May God Bless you and those you love this Thanksgiving Day, and may we all strive to be a bit more thoughtful of one another in the course of living life to its fullest.