Once upon a time a group of Pilgrims sailed from England to America to start a new life that included freedom. The independence they sought provided them with the liberty to believe what they wanted to believe and live the way they wanted to live. However, they were faced with many challenges and hardship, often resulting in death.
In the kinship of human kindness, the Natives of the land decided to lend a helping hand. They taught the Pilgrims how to grow and hunt for food, treat illness and care for their families. To show thanks, the Pilgrims invited the Natives to a three day dinner – the first Thanksgiving.
As we have continued to celebrate Thanksgiving for nearly 400 years, we have come to associate this special day with elaborate meals, parties, watching sports and everything else in between. Unfortunately, these lavish celebrations are also often accompanied by unnecessary stress and over exaggerated indulgences.
So how has the celebration of expressing our gratitude for the kinship of human spirit become secondary to the excesses we now know as Thanksgiving? How did it become turkey with a side of gratitude?
Don’t get me wrong, celebrating with loved ones is a beautiful thing! There is nothing wrong with letting loose and indulging every now and then. But wouldn’t it be great if we could combine the celebration of Thanksgiving with a true celebration of gratitude? Isn’t gratitude what it’s really about anyway?
If we really want to pay homage to the true meaning of the holiday, perhaps we take some time to keep the spirit alive of lending a helping hand to those in need as well as showing appreciation for all that is bestowed upon us. Keeping the spirit of Thanksgiving alive starts with just one person…YOU!
Ways to create a day of Gratitude with a side of Turkey:
- Take a walk or hike and enjoy nature. Be reminded of how lucky we are to live in such an abundant, beautiful place where food and water are at our fingertips at any given moment.
- Take time to show appreciation to someone that has helped you. It may your parent who you’ve never thanked for giving you life – or that stranger that opens the next door for you.
- Participate in local charitable events and stay focused on the cause! The Anthem Turkey Trot is a great activity to participate in on Thanksgiving day.
- Find a way to help those less fortunate than you. Volunteering your time or donating to food banks is a great way to help out. Involve your kids too! It will give them a better understanding of how fortunate they are.
- Take a journey inward by meditating or practicing Yoga. You will be amazing at the sense of peace you find when you take the time to still your mind and find peace within.
But don’t let your efforts stop at Thanksgiving. Take this approach with you every day. You will be surprised at how contagious a smile, a compliment or just an overall sense of gratitude can be.
Let’s get back to the kinship of human kindness that our ancestors so beautifully displayed. Imagine what WE could recreate and build today, if we did.