Thanksgiving is a festival that is celebrated in America and Canada. Originally it was a time to be thankful for the autumn harvest as well as for all those good blessings we had received during the year.
I remember from my days of living in Vancouver that Canada also has its own Thanksgiving Day. What a wonderful and beautiful time this was for greeting and meeting, eating, sharing and caring. It was a very warm and rich time of year.
Whether there is a festival or not, any time is a good time for giving thanks! With so much available at our fingertips… are we grateful or do we still expect more? Thanksgiving is probably one of the best occasions to celebrate and to bless our fortune of family and good friends. Much of the event revolves around food and togetherness and has not become too dominated by commercialism. Perhaps, each day we should give thanks for the good fortune of food, friends and family.
There is an anonymous video going viral at the moment, it invites you to imagine that you were born in the year 1900. By the time you are 14 the First World War has begun. The war ends in 1918 with 22 million dead. You are still alive! In 1918 the Spanish Flu arrives. By 1920 the flu pandemic has taken about 50 million lives from all over the world. Actually the origin of the flu has nothing to do with Spain, but the title has stuck simply because Spain was sharing information about deaths due to flu, whilst other countries who were at war did not.
So, you are still alive! When you are 29 you survive the Great Depression and the global economic crisis which created inflation, famine and increasing poverty. When you are 33 years old, Hitler and the Nazis come to power… You manage to survive that turbulent time too. When you are 39, and remember you are still only 39! Then the Second World War begins and by the end of 1945 you see that 60 million people have died. In the 1960’s you see that conflict is still going on with the Vietnam War… along with many other places in conflict all around the world, and you also manage to survive these… as many did.
So, what we are experiencing now is nothing compared to what our ancestors experienced? We have to exercise a little social distancing and wear masks and be mindful about hygiene, all for our well-being, and yet we think that it is the end of the world! Maybe our ancestors were made of hardier stuff and had a greater degree of tolerance and resilience. Let us take a lesson from them. They had survived so much with so little to work with, other than their inner strength and determination. Let us be grateful for all the positive and good in our life. For many of us, we have far greater supports and comforts than grandpa and grandma would ever be likely to see in their lifetimes.
We do not need a fall harvest to be grateful. If we create an attitude of gratitude then the harvest for us will be every day! What are you grateful for today? Make a list and count your blessings and see them multiply. Remember: Whatever we give the energy of our attention to will increase in number, this is why it is so important to be careful where we place our attention, our thoughts, that precious treasure of the mind.
Our ancestors understood that Thanksgiving was not just about the physical harvest, providing enough food to take souls through the darkness of winter to the brightness of the spring dawn. But truly giving thanks to God and to Nature for their bountiful grace.
It’s Time… to take our personal audit of appreciation, gratitude and blessings and to see how much grace we are blessed with in our own lives.