Editor, Times-Union:
With Halloween over, the next scheduled calendar holiday is Thanksgiving. Perhaps to some another day off. To others it’s the start of the Christmas shopping. And to still others it’s a day of eating the traditional meat of November … turkey. But perhaps the real meaning of the national holiday is somewhat clouded, if not lost, in the hustle and bustle of life.
I, like most of my Warsaw neighbors, am busy. We are busy with the good things, and the not-so-good things. We have job commitments and responsibilities that occupy a good portion of the day. Then there’s the family. The kids have several activities (now we call them commitments) after school that take time from family gatherings. We dare not forget to provide time for the spouse who needs to share some news, conversation and feelings of the day. And lastly, self. After all the day’s activities are done, it’s time to pamper self. And rightly so. Sound familiar? As I said, we’re busy with life.
But we’ll get to take a breath because we’re approaching another holiday, another day off! We’re approaching Thanksgiving. But is the fourth Thursday of November just another day off from the hustle of life? I was taught, as you, that it is a day of Thanksgiving. We are suppose to “give thanks.” But do we? Do we really remember to be thankful? Perhaps this is a day when we, as the wise men who started this great country of ours did, truly reflect on the things for which we are personally thankful. May I challenge each of you, as I will too, to ask yourself this question, “For what and who am I truly thankful?”
Before you propose the question, do it when you won’t be interrupted. (For the right time refer to “pamper self” above.) Take out a sheet of paper, or your iPhone. After you’ve cleared all the interruptions out of your head, write down anything that comes to your mind for which you are thankful. Anything. And everything. Big or small. Important or normal or mundane. Things we take for granted and those that take your breath away. Those you have control over those that you don’t. Remember the people that are part of your life. The hard times that made you who you are now. The tough economic times that made you see the generosity of other people, and even yours. The kindness given and received in difficult and stressful times.
Then when you’ve filled the page, give thanks. We are reminded that in all things we can give thanks. But give credit to whom credit is due. Give thanks to the One who made it all possible … the Creator of this world who loves you and me. Now you and I can celebrate the intended meaning of Thanksgiving.
Steven Petty
Warsaw, via e-mail