AN ACTION WORD!
When we decided to share thoughts about Thanksgiving, it seemed it would be a snap. With a successful business, a healthy, happy family, and friends that share keen interests in music and sports, we have a lot to be thankful for and gratitude is central to our lives.
Then we saw the Thanksgiving holiday described as “a trite secularized tradition maintained by a nation of overgrown kids.” It was sad but thought provoking. As a result, we did some research on Thanksgiving beyond the typical depiction of Pilgrims enjoying the fruits of their harvests.
A good starting place seemed to be with one of the earliest leaders of our country. George Washington viewed the good fortune of this country as a challenge to accept the responsibilities and duties that co-exist with giving thanks. He insisted that we must both acknowledge our blessings and recognize our duties to create a peaceful, benevolent world. Washington urged the recognition that poverty and injustice holds everyone hostage until we, who are fortunate, bring our blessings to those who are less fortunate.
Fast forward to the late twentieth century and another American president, John Kennedy. Kennedy said that “as we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.”
Both of those sentiments, hundreds of years apart, remind us that Thanksgiving is truly a call to action and should be thought of as an action word. It is not a trite, secularized tradition unless we allow that to happen. Instead, it is a holiday that calls us to be accountable. It is a call to action. It is a time to count your blessings and then make them count. It brings with it the blessing of hope and the gift of faith. Both of which need to be actively shared with others.
Thanksgiving isn’t just a day. It is a way of living. We need to realize that our lives are someone else’s fantasy. Thanksgiving is not just a day, but it truly is an action word in every possible sense.