“As we express gratitude we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” – John Fitzgerald Kennedy.
As those of us who celebrate this holiday prepare to gather with our families and friends, let us be mindful of just how much we have to be thankful for, and consider how we might express our gratitude in a meaningful way throughout the year.
If we are gathering with our families let us give thanks for the blessing that they are, and remember those who have lost their families to the violence and bloodshed in so many places around this small planet we call home. Let us consider what we can do through our own choices and our own words to bring this to an end.
As we watch our children play let us give thanks for their joy and innocence, and remember those children whose innocence has been taken and who find little joy this day. Think of those children in refugee camps, those who are trying to make it to safety, those who are turned away because of fear, and those who have perished trying to make it to safety. Let us consider what we can do through our own choices and our own words to bring this to an end.
As we open the doors of our homes, or enter the doorway of a relative or friend to celebrate this holiday let us give thanks for the roof over our head. Let us remember all of those who have no home, who rely on space in a shelter if they are so lucky, who live under bridges, in makeshift tents, in cardboard boxes, abandoned cars, or in whatever form of shelter they can find. Certainly in this, the wealthiest country in the history of the world we can make it so that nobody has to live in these conditions. What can we do through our own choices and our own words to help end homelessness?
As we celebrate abundance around a table laid out in extravagant bounty, let us give thanks for our good fortune, remembering that this is not the norm in much of the world, or even in much of this country. In a nation where we waste and discard almost 40% of our food supply there is no reason why anybody should go hungry. It’s a nice gesture to donate a turkey to the homeless shelter, but what about the other 364 days of the year? What can we do through our own choices and our own words to end hunger every day?
Gratitude, real gratitude is not passing or temporary, and gratitude is more than attitude. Gratitude is a way of living in such a way that we cannot imagine allowing another soul to live in need.
Let us be thankful and live in gratitude this day, and every day.
Live in blessing.