Thanksgiving is coming up which means it’s time to think about being thankful. This holiday is a wonderful time to remind us to be grateful for our privileges but it’s also important to stop and think about them all year long.
Thanksgiving has a troubled history, we all know its unfortunate beginning, but not many know it’s modern history. After that first meal between the pilgrims and the native Americans, the holiday wasn’t exactly widespread. It took until 1863 when Abraham Lincoln was convinced by writer Sarah Josepha Halefor to make it a national holiday. Lincoln announced it in a proclamation during the height of the Civil War, telling people to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” This is what we should remember Thanksgiving as, a holiday born in the darkest hour of our history. This day is a testament to the human spirit, that in a time when everything was bleak we established a day to remember the good, to focus not on what we lost, but on what we have.
But we shouldn’t wait until the last Thursday in November to be grateful. We should try to practice thankfulness everyday, for all the little things. We recommend remembering to say a brief thank you before a meal, or when you see the sun, or hear the birds. There is a lot to be thankful for every day and it’s very easy to fall into “automatic mode” when we get so focused on our immediate tasks we see everything as an obstacle. Stop for just one moment each day to notice the things around you and be grateful for them. It can turn your whole day around.