As a child, I remember Thanksgiving as a time when my two older sisters and their families would come to my hometown for a great meal, a little football, and maybe even a chance to go hunting with my two brothers-in-law. I didn’t stop to think about how inconvenient it was for them to get their kids ready to travel two hours to my house and see my mom and dad. My dad was totally disabled, so we certainly weren’t going to travel anywhere. My brothers-in-law had families of their own, and yet they always took time to share a Thanksgiving meal with us. I suppose you can call this an obligation, but it never felt like they viewed it that way. It was a special time and an early lesson for me as to what it means to care for others more than for yourself.
As I have gotten older, I have come to appreciate Thanksgiving as a time to think about ways to give to others in need.
It is certainly a time to count our blessings that we too often take for granted. It can be a time to develop a sense of responsibility for our friends, family, and community. Life can be a rollercoaster with many emotional highs and lows. These experiences, both good and bad, can help us get others through their ups and downs.
We are a diverse and, multicultural, multigenerational nation.
Today, as the workforce crosses five generations, it is also a time to embrace the differences between generations and the wide variety of cultures in our country. Thanksgiving can be an opportunity to embrace these different traditions, customs, and backgrounds.
I pray we can use this Thanksgiving as an opportunity to practice good stewardship.
If you are blessed beyond your needs, then take some time to contribute to a local food bank. Involve the whole family and think of new ways to serve your community. Use this season to teach our youth, the next generation, the importance of service and ethical conduct. By involving youth, we can instill values that will guide them through their lives, just like my sisters and brothers-in-law did for me. Start a new Thanksgiving tradition.
Take some time to reflect on the past and strive for a better future.
This Thanksgiving season reflect on the true meaning of the holiday. The principles of Thanksgiving can help us to develop a positive attitude and take time to contribute to the betterment of our local community and society as a whole. Let the spirit of Thanksgiving become a way of life, not just for the one day, but a daily practice of responsibility for yourself, your family, and your community.