I had this thought recently about what Thanksgiving was all about. When asked the first thing that comes to mind when given the word “Thanksgiving,” people will respond in a variety of ways depending upon their own life experiences. Some people are quick to respond with words associated with food, such as pumpkin pie or turkey.
Others go the more traditional route and give responses like family, home, and love. Finally, you will always have a few candid individuals who will, without hesitation, say things such as fighting or in-laws. It is clear that the implications of Thanksgiving are different depending upon whom you ask.
At a young age, I was taught that the pilgrims desired to thank the Native Americans for sharing a variety of resources such as corn and other crops. Similarly, I was told that as a result of this desire, the pilgrims staged a grand feast for their new native friends and that this was the origin of Thanksgiving. It wasn’t until college that I was taught that this scenario was little more feasible than Santa Clause delivering presents or the Easter Bunny laying eggs.
This led me to wonder what exactly it is that we know about this beloved holiday that means “turkey” and “football” in my family. Maybe the meaning of Thanksgiving is something that can possibly be more definitive.
In solving this mystery I was lucky enough to be given two clues; the words thanks and giving. This may be a leap from football and self-indulgence, but I think that this holiday might be about being thankful for what we have and, in turn, giving to others.
I will readily admit that I am guilty of the annual tryptophan overdose and have been known to drink one too many glasses of apple cider. While that may not change this year, I think I might take this new meaning and put it to use.
Now that I think about it, many people do not have nearly what I do to be thankful for. There are currently people who have no job or home. There are others who have no family. Finally there are individuals amongst us who currently have a combination of the aforementioned shortcomings.
I believe that if you want to celebrate Thanksgiving with all of the fixin’s, you should challenge yourself to see what it is that you have and what there is to be thankful for. Then, if you happen to be one of the lucky ones, see if you can find it in your heart to share the blessings you’ve been given. This could be as simple as giving a toy to a tot, or as elaborate as taking off a day to serve someone in your community.
A fortune cookie once said, “get much, give lots, get much in return” or something like that. Just a thought.
“Your Lucky Numbers are 10 – 03 – 17 – 89.” Happy Holidays to the Pensacola State College community.
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