Today is Thankgiving in the United States. Does it mean anything besides the turkey?
To see what Thanksgiving really means, one must look at the word itself. Thanksgiving means gratitude and appreciation for the good things one has: family, life, health, possessions.
In other words, for at least a moment, be happy with what you got.
You can see this doesn’t go over big these days. We live in an Age of Want. People want more, and just in case the want reflex is a little weak, there are plenty of advertisers out giving booster shots.
Coexisting with this Age of Want is the Age of Entitlement. It’s not just a matter of wanting; it’s a matter of believing one deserves or is entitled to whatever. Again, those lacking the impulse can readily get booster shots.
The problem isn’t wanting things, or even necessarily thinking one deserves them. The problem is why one wants or deserves.
To get people to buy more, those who want to sell using conjure not satisfaction but dissatisfaction; your life, yourself is somehow stunted or incomplete without getting what we’re selling. They’re selling you not a better product, but a better you.
Hardly the stuff of Thanksgiving.
To Be Thankful For What You Got, Imagine If You Had Not
To add to the problem, true thanksgiving requires gratitude and appreciation. They aren’t the most popular emotions, probably because at their core, they’re humbling. They tell you that it’s not all about you, but it’s also your family, dead and alive, your friends, your neighbors, your country and society, and your era.
If you think not, ask yourself what your life would be like had you been born in say, Zaire, rather than where you were. Odds are, you wouldn’t even have many of the things you’re not too happy with, or maybe even know they existed.
Maybe more to the point, ask yourself what Bill Gates’ life would be like that he been born in Zaire rather than Seattle.
The point of Thanksgiving is not to say one shouldn’t strive or achieve the other 364 days of the year, but rather to realize one day a year, in most instances, that where you are right now is pretty good. Not perfect, not empty of problems, but pretty good.
It’s a day to stop to smell the roses.