We arrive once again at the long festive holiday season that officially begins annually with Thanksgiving. Should a National Family Holiday ever be declared it would most certainly be Thanksgiving, the one holiday that transcends race, religion, nationality and politics, as well as academic, socio-economic and all other status while drawing families and other related groups together in various ways whether through football or around one common dinner table. The more we gather indiscriminately around dinner tables or through other intimate settings the more understanding, compassion and friendship replace feelings of intolerance and indifference that otherwise tend to dominate daily conversations and subsequent routines.
Thanksgiving is a time of reflection on the many blessings we take for granted each day as we witness each sunrise, sunset, and all the beauty and wonder of man and nature.
Unlike Christmas when over-emphasis is placed on overdoing, out-doing, gift giving and other mercenary things including holiday parties (to which the Guest of Honor is seldom invited), Thanksgiving increases one’s awareness of the innumerable blessings, tangible and intangible, that we constantly enjoy each day. It also engenders a tranquil heart and spirit in the midst of turmoil, a clear conscience, purified motives and such virtues as patience–with ourselves, lest we become discouraged); as well as with others, lest we become a source of discouragement to them.
Be especially thankful for the virtues of courtesy, justice, understanding and love, whenever and wherever they may be found that we may not discourage them. Be also ever mindful of and grateful for our innumerable freedoms–of speech, choice, and of religious, social and political persuasion, all of which “the more you abuse, the more you lose.”
The primary key to true thanksgiving then would be to maintain, on an ever increasing scale, a perpetual attitude of gratitude-–first to the One in Whose Hand is held ALL fate, our Creator–“..and it shall follow, as the day the night,” we will invariably learn to more fully appreciate His creation-–the good, the bad; the ugly and the beautiful! As we spiritualize our habits and purify our motives we will attain and maintain an attitude of gratitude.
This Thanksgiving as we gather around our respective family tables, may we begin by vowing to be “…ever mindful of, and more responsive to the needs of others. May we also consider that we are NOT our brother’s keeper (as of animals and bees) but our brother’s brother!
– HAPPY THANKSGIVING! –