The name of the holiday Thanksgiving should be reversed to “Giving Thanks.” After all, one day a year should be set aside for being thankful for what we have and not for what we do not.
It is so easy to get caught up in a society of excessive greed and self-centeredness in the pursuit and worship of money. Yet, money is tangible. It cannot buy the most important things in life like happiness, peace of mind, love and immortality. I never hear of anyone regretting not having enough money on their deathbed. Memories of people, places and experiences are the things that matter most.
In my travels, I have learned that those people living in the poorest of nations and the most destitute of circumstances are the kindest and most gentle. They are willing to share what little they have, have a close relationship with friends and family, have deep faith and work the hardest.
Think about it, only ¼ of the world’s populations has the lifestyle of the average American. We take so much for granted, like clean drinking water, available food, clothing, shelter and healthcare. Yet, Americans are so often unhappy. They complain about not having enough or “their share.” They are in competition with one another for the latest, newest and greatest. Seldom satisfied are they with what they already have, they are in need of more. This need is never satiated.
It’s sad that the American public is so oriented toward materialism that they are willing to pitch tents to camp out for a week, stand outside in the winter chill and forgo their Thanksgiving holiday for a place in line eager for a bargain. Others have to work on a day that had been relegated to sharing time off with family and friends. The public demands 24/7 self-gratification.
I long for a quieter and simpler time when holidays were holidays for everyone. Can’t people survive for one day, to spend time with loved ones, without the need to spend money that they do not have on things that they do not need?
In the end, will these people be thankful for one last bargain or die with the regret at having had squandered precious time with those they love?
Let’s recapture the thanks in Thanksgiving. Stay home with your family and friends to create memories without the commercialism. Talk to one another, share memories, laugh, hug and cherish the day. Forgive and forget. Love. Be thankful for who you have and what you have.
What are you thankful for this Thanksgiving?
Think about it.