Let's state the facts and get them out of the way: People are hurting. They're sick. They're financially burdened. They're lonely. People all around you, and maybe even you, are suffering for so many various reasons.
But there's one thing I've notice about abundance, it makes no difference when it comes to gratitude. In fact, the richer people become, the more likely they are to expect more riches. The easier the road a person is walking, the less likely he is to stop for help. The lighter the load a person carries, the less aware he is of someone else's burden.
Those people are the least likely to walk with an attitude of gratitude and most likely to embrace an entitlement attitude.
It's Thanksgiving time, and so much of this holiday has become overshadowed by commercialism. The idea of Christmas shopping and decorations has encroached on this day of thankfulness to the point where it's more like a few hours of thankfulness in anticipation of the Black Friday sales. This was not what the day was intended to be.
So, I'd just like to take this opportunity to express my thanks. I'm thankful for you who faithfully read my words. I'm thankful for my employers and for a company who puts people first. I'm thankful for my family--there are no words, really. And I'm thankful for my God, without whom none of this would be as beautiful.
Now, I realize that many of you who read this blog may take offense to the words of the letter I'm about to quote. But, please, consider the intentions I have as I post them. I wish us all to be reminded of our roots, never so closed off to the past that we forget our blessings as a nation and as individuals, and never so blind to our foundation that we let it crumble.
The following is excerpted from the Thanksgiving proclamation by President George Washington:
...Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be-- That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks--for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation--for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war--for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed--for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted--for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us and also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions-- to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually--to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed--to protect and guide all Sovereigns and Nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us) and to bless them with good government, peace, and concord--To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among them and us--and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.
We often arrive at this time of year and ask ourselves what we're most thankful for. I think that's a good place to start. Next, let's look at the rough patches of our lives until we can find reason to be grateful, even for those.
I find it it interesting that in the Hebrew language and other languages around the globe, there is no word for “thank you” or even “thanks”. in these languages we frequently see the word “praise” used as a way of expressing our gratitude. In one dialect when thanks and even praise is needed a story is told of the person deserving the thanks. Within the story is always the use of the person's name. In these areas of the world when thanks is given people will say, “ I will tell of your name”.
In other words, it's not just a feeling of thankfulness, it's an expression of praise that you share with others. Don't keep it to yourself. Tell others about the blessings in your life through your words and your deeds.
I wish you a very happy, restful, and thankful holiday.