Amid all the bustle, spend a few moments reflecting on the good things you have experienced in your lives.
Christmas decorations are popping up all around us and we are besieged by department store sale flyers urging us to make our gift purchases before the crowds arrive at the stores. Black Friday ads have been filling my inbox and mailbox for weeks now, and there will be no end to them until several days after December 25, when all the after-Christmas sales take place.
Every night there are a number of Christmas and Holiday movies playing on one of the many channels on TV, inspirational, secular and those marketed specifically for children, who go to bed each night with more than visions of sugarplums dancing in their heads.
And just scan the dial on your car radio. I’m sure you will find a station dedicated to playing non-stop holiday music for the rest of the year.
But in our rush to get into the Christmas spirit, we, as a society, are kind of skipping over what could be one of the most important holidays of the year, Thanksgiving Day. Some will argue that the celebration of that holiday is an American tradition, and no longer has a place in the new world order, but being thankful for the things you have and the loved ones who surround you is not contained by lines drawn on a map.
And being thankful is not the sole property of any one religion. Christians in America can be thankful as well as Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists and even agnostics and atheists. If you look, you can find something to be thankful for.
That is what makes the celebration of a Thanksgiving holiday so important. In today’s world, we tend to focus on what is wrong with everything, and we fail to notice what is good. As the old adage goes, the squeaking wheel gets the grease, the things that we must deal with in our daily lives tend to overshadow the parts of our world that remain constant and not troubling to us.
We stress over the bills we have to pay, the condition of our old automobile, the home repair that will cost three-months mortgage payment to get fixed, but we fail to appreciate the fact that we have a job that will allow us to pay the bills eventually, that we have an automobile at all, and that we have a home in which to make repairs.
So, this American is inviting people of all walks of life, all religions, races and beliefs to join me in a worldwide celebration of being thankful on Thursday. You can be thankful to your deity or creator, or you can just be thankful to fate, or science, or to whatever you attribute your presence on Earth.
You can choose your own time for being thankful and it can last as long as you wish. It can be as you wake in the morning, during one of your meals during the day, or as you lay down your head to rest. It can be as you are walking to your destination, driving to visit the family, or, for those who have to work on the day, as you take your coffee or lunch break.
Just take a few moments to look around you. Everyone has something to be thankful for, you just need to focus on finding it.
Studies have shown that recovery times for surgical patients are shorter when the patient has a positive outlook, and the same applies here. Take note of the good things you have in your life, even if they are far outnumbered by the bad. And each day, try to improve one of the bad things, instead of tackling them all at once.
Soon you will find the good now outnumber the bad and for that you can be thankful.