In both the U.S. and Canada, people pause once a year, during November or October, respectively, to give thanks for the blessings in their lives, particularly a good harvest.
It’s usually a time to visit family or friends who live far away or to welcome them into our homes. For sports lovers, it’s the height of the college football season with top teams vying for championships and with victory, a year of bragging rights. And then there’s the special meal with turkey and dressing taking center stage, surrounded by a veritable cornucopia of vegetables, sweets, breads and other delights.
But for some, it’s difficult if not impossible to find something for which they believe they should give thanks. They live in a world that has not been kind, in a society that has labeled them “less than” and they’ve been treated that way – as if they don’t matter. They are our world’s “forgotten and shunned” men, women and children.
Here in America, some give thanks because their pockets are full of dollars, their homes are large, their automobiles are sparkling new and their closets and dressers are packed with designer clothes and shiny pieces of silver and gold. The goal of opulence has become our goal and proof that we’re living the good life.
But what about giving thanks for seeing the beauty of a sunrise? Hearing the laugher of a newborn child. Experiencing the touch of someone that loves you unconditionally? Biting into a fresh apple or orange and savoring their juice? Walking in the rain and feeling a cool breeze tickle your nose?
Giving thanks should be something we do every day. After all, we are still alive. And with life comes hope that no matter what our condition, no matter how bad things may seem, things can change – and for the better.