Thanksgiving – Being Able to Give

As Thanksgiving is just around the corner, some of us may use this occasion to take stock in life; what we are grateful and thankful for.

Personally, I don’t celebrate Thanksgiving. However, a few people I know do.

What is Thanksgiving? I looked it up online and one said it was about the celebration of harvesting. 

Nowadays, the main focus of Thanksgiving has very little to do with its origin, harvest or not. The most talked-about is the turkey, the pumpkin pies, the trimmings and who are coming for dinner.

We have come a long way and indeed our lives have changed so much. For a start, very few of us work in the fields, and our gatherings in these modern days tend to revolve around the dinner tables. 

Thanksgiving may have started as a way of saying thanks to what we were given when wealth wasn’t so available and that our life was simpler and more nature-connected if not reliant. 

With our lives having been transformed from the fields to modern homes, we are no longer at the mercy of nature. In fact, it is the other way around.

Whilst we continue the tradition to celebrate Thanksgiving, let’s take this opportunity to refine our focus for Thanksgiving. After all, it is our responsibility to look at our actions to traditions, not traditions to actions.

Actions to traditions.

Not traditions to actions.

Celebrating and giving thanks to what we have is important as one can easily look at life from the opposite direction, i.e. what we don’t have. However, with more than enough comfort that many of us need in the world we are in, how about we give thanks to our ability to give?

Give thanks to our ability to GIVE

There are still many people who have no food or shelter; people who can barely make ends meet. Many of us are fortunate with what we have. And many more of us are fortunate to have the ability to give.

No matter how much or how little we think we have, especially with our global economy taking a toll from the current issues we are facing, we are always in a position to give, be it big or small, financially, physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually.

A “good morning” to a passer-by. Hold the door open for the next person through. Listen attentively to someone who simply needs to be heard. Make eye contact with the person who needs an acknowledgement. A warm smile to let someone know s/he is not alone. Or a “pay-it-forward” coffee or meal in a restaurant. 

To receive is a blessing. To give is a gift.

To receive is a blessing. To give is a gift. The ability to give is a gift that money can’t buy. A gift that no one can take away from us. A gift that we all have and are able and capable to give and receive. A gift that can truly touch our hearts and change our world, especially timely in the challenging time we are facing, individually and collectively.

Whether we are on our own or with families and friends this Thanksgiving, let’s look at the spirit of Thanksgiving with a different angle.

Give thanks to what we have. Give thanks to our ability to give. And more importantly, give what we can to make the changes we want to see in our world.

Happy Thanksgiving!