As we move into the Holiday Season it is easy to get wrapped up in the flashy marketing campaigns, the noise, the food, the friends and family, etc that we know is coming. All that is OK, but I think it is appropriate that the Thanksgiving Holiday comes first in the line of our favorite holidays, which include Christmas and New Year. (And yes, it is still legal to say “Merry Christmas.” So say it a lot this year.)
However, the simple, non-threatening trait of being thankful is, to a great degree being lost today and stands as a potential extinct dinosaur along with its compadres politeness, courtesy and manners.
We live in a “hurrah for me” culture where “I” am first and others must get in line to get recognized as we scurry through the day, disregarding those around us, dangerously weaving through traffic as we text, put on makeup and eat our breakfast, sometimes all at the same time.
This fast paced, information driven society pressures everyone to extend hours, travel further and do it all faster. Technology was supposed to free up our time. Instead it demands our time with more devices that deliver more speed and data.
In this melee our conversational and relationship skills suffer and people become more self-centered and inward directed. Let’s face it – most of us don’t even know our neighbors on the street where we live. Sit in a restaurant and take an inventory of how many people have their head down and glued to their texting device.
Then we find ourselves approaching the holiday we call Thanksgiving and if many stop to consider, they don’t really understand who they should be thankful to or for what reason. It’s like, “I am who I am because of who I am, and so who do I need to be thankful to, me?”
The difference is in living life with a thankful heart and attitude, realizing that we are all in this game of life together and all created by the same God. We all, no matter what our social status, are humans that need each other daily. “No Man is an Island” as the poet John Donne wrote.
So as we approach Thanksgiving this year I encourage all of us to be thankful for life and for others we come in contact with and especially for this country, blessed by God with abundance and freedom.
Be thankful and say “thank you”. We all appreciate kindness and courtesy. The Bible says, “A soft answer turns away wrath.” (Prov 15:1)
I close today with a story from the life of Rudyard Kipling (1865–1936). At the zenith of his great writing career he was the highest paid writer in the world. It was said that each word that he wrote was worth $100.
One day a newspaper reporter crossed his path and said, “Mr. Kipling, it is said that each of your words are worth $100.” He pulled a $100 bill from his pocket and said, “So do you have a $100 word for me today?” The famous writer wisely took the bill and said, “Thanks.”
You never know when your thankful attitude will pay you dividends!