Thanksgiving is the time of year that we are reminded to be thankful. Many of us are already through out the year. Some of us aren’t. But when this holiday rolls around, regardless of what category you fall into – you can’t help but think of the things that you are grateful for. Happiness, health, wealth – a lesson learned, a friend made, the great deals you got Black Friday shopping. ..to each their own – no judgement. Think of six different things you are thankful for. Off the top of my head, I can say I’m thankful for my beautiful family who is there for each other rain or shine. I’m thankful for my loving boyfriend who cooks way better than I do but will never say otherwise. I’m thankful for my tried and true friends who are there for me at the drop of a hat, something I gladly reciprocate any day and any time. I am gracious for these non tangible things, but at the same time I am thankful that I am employed, and it’s doing something that allows me to indulge and express my creativity. I am thankful to have been given the opportunity to acquire knowledge there and through academics. These things have equipped me with what I need to live a happy, healthy life. I am thankful for knowing I have it all.
Thankful for what I have.
But also thankful for what I don’t have.
Homelessness. Illness. Hunger. Lack of resources.
I think that when most people think about what they are thankful for, it’s about possessions. People, places and things. We forget that not everyone has these luxuries. Even if they don’t seem like a luxury to us, they truly are. For someone, somewhere is without. This holiday is about giving thanks. So while you are giving thanks for all that you do have, remember to be thankful for that in which you don’t. Some aren’t as fortunate. So instead of showing thanks via social media posts, roll up your sleeves and give others the opportunity to be thankful for something they may have otherwise not have gotten. Here are six different ways to give thanks.
1. Donate – clothes, toys, books, shoes, household items, money…whatever you can. I donate at least twice a year to the Lupus Foundation, Veteran’s Association or the Salvation Army. You can set up pick ups on line, it’s easy!
2. Volunteer – spend time serving the hungry – Eva’s Village (NJ) , help prepare donation baskets St John’s Bread and Life (NYC) or check out Idealist for other volunteer opportunities
3. Donate to medicine – many need it, not all have it. Partners in Health has an amazing background story, if you get a chance, read Mountains Beyond Mountains. You’ll see what I mean.
4. Help Expand Literacy – whether you volunteer your time, or donate books, you are contributing to not only an individuals future, but a universal future. Most libraries take part in National Friends of Libraries - so check out your local library to see how you can help!
5. Take time to actually say thank you to the people in your life that make it something to be thankful for. They’ll appreciate it more than you know.
6. STOP COMPLAINING. I know. It seems trivial. But think about everything that you complain about on a daily basis. In the grand scheme of things, it creates a downward spiral. Don’t be ungrateful for what is wrong. Think about what is right and how fortunate you are. You have so much to be thankful for, and graciousness inspires others to feel the same and act on it. BE THANKFUL.
Happy Thanksgiving, and remember, there is always something to be thankful for.