Giving Thanks

My son recently asked me, “Dad, why did you write ‘Giving Thanks’ on the calendar instead of ‘Thanksgiving’?” I shared with him that often we say a word or phrase without awareness of its origin and meaning, so I wrote it that way to give me and others extra time to think about giving thanks on Thanksgiving.

Every day that I wake up I am thankful. There was a time that either I was not aware, or I simply took this for granted. Perhaps taking things for granted is the opposite of giving thanks.

‘Thank you’ is a common phrase that I say and write dozens (some days over a hundred) of times a day. Many of those times I am aware of and say or write it with a deeper connection and feeling. I liken it to saying (or writing), I love you and even thanks, love you, or love. All phrases can be said or written to convey a depth of feeling, meaning, and sincerity that varies and may be quite deep for some. It is an expression from the heart.

I am thankful for family and the opportunity to love and share love. My thanks extend to everyone I interact with and for their thoughts and actions. This goes even further to those I may only exchange a message with who are in distant lands and are awake while I still sleep. I wake up earlier than most and am working with people halfway around the world before the sun rises, and so my thanks extend halfway around the world most days.

The tradition of Thanksgiving when I was growing up in the farming state of Iowa was that thanks were given for any amount of food gathered and especially for a good harvest. I think this still rings true. If we are giving thanks for a good harvest we are, by extension, giving thanks for harvesters and farmers of food. So, I take this moment, and ask you too, to give thanks for the farmers of cocoa, sugar, milk, and fruits and nuts. Being a farmer of sorts, I imagine farmers and harvesters are thankful too.

In my view of life, it is not enough to simply think that money equals thankfulness, or that it’s enough that someone got paid for their work. Instead, I think it is essential for the being part of being human to feel appreciated and thanked. And there is a profound feeling of wellbeing in the sharing of thankfulness. Happy Thanksgiving Day.