The Art of Being Thankful

What’s not to like about Thanksgiving?  A food-based holiday, where the big event is centered around a meal, no gifts are exchanged and the NFL gives us two games to watch as we smell the turkey cooking to perfection.  Add to that, the holiday always starts on a Thursday, making going into work rather pointless, so we end up getting a 4-day weekend out of it.

I’m proud of the fact that I live in a country that actually sets aside a day of national thanks.  It still surprises me that Canada and the U.S. didn’t talk things over and have Thanksgiving at the same time.  Instead, Canadians have their version in early October.  That does break it apart from Christmas, as right now in the U.S., Thanksgiving is just a speed bump in the road of the holiday season.  Of course, if we truly didn’t want Christmas to interfere with Thanksgiving, we’d probably have to move it to July, before Costco starts putting out the decorations.

The bulk of us will sit down to dinner on Thursday with family and friends, bow our heads and for an entire 30-seconds, give thanks for all that we have.  I suppose that’s better than nothing, but just imagine if we were to actually embrace our thankfulness, realize all that we have on a daily basis and give thanks for it.  Watch the news and our world today seems to be obsessed with what we don’t have–the Occupy protestors, taking a stand by doing nothing as a group, to point out all the things they don’t have. Watch TV and you’ll see commercial after commercial pointing out how much happier we’d be if we had a new video game, or go out to eat at this restaurant or drive this new car.

There was a time I lived a “keeping up with the Jones’ life” and eventually I realized that it never ends.  When you live on the idea you’ll be happy when you get __________, your happiness is temporary…because just on the other side of that want is another one….and another…and another.

To quote Sheryl Crow, which I believe I’ve done more than once on Thanksgivings over the years, “It’s not getting what you want, it’s wanting what you’ve got!”   We DO have a lot, each of us, in our own way.  Sure, a winning lottery ticket would solve some problems, but it would create others.  The world is not perfect and neither are we, but damn…if you just take a hard look at where you are and see how much you’ve actually received over the years, you can only do one thing–and that’s being extremely thankful.  Maybe, even this year, for more than just one day.

I have to look up and say thanks for the family that raised me and that surrounds me now, a vast wealth of friends and acquaintances and toi live in a land that the bulk of the world can only dream of living.  For all of our issues, our problems and our challenges, when it comes down to it, we are all truly blessed.

It would be silly to wrap this up without saying, “Thanks for reading this.”

Tim Hunter

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