This is Thanksgiving week and to most people Thanksgiving is much more than a day followed by Black Friday and Cyber Monday. It is a day to stop and reflect on what things and people we are thankful for.
More people travel to see friends and family at Thanksgiving than any other time of the year except Christmas. Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday. Of course, the Pilgrims are credited with starting the whole thing and American presidents have issued “proclamations” for the day since George Washington. Hopefully President Donald Trump will chime in with more than a tweet this week.
Sadly however there are people in America who have a hard time being thankful because they feel miserable, frustrated, disgruntled and are consumed with envy and a sense of victimhood and entitlement. They can begin by being thankful for the privilege of living in America with all of its freedoms and opportunities.
But that is the small minority. Thankfulness and gratefulness are great characteristics of most Americans. Psychologists say that a grateful attitude makes for a joyful heart, a better outlook on life and overall physical and mental well-being. An “attitude of gratitude” can make life much more pleasant for yourself and everyone around you.
I asked some students I know to tell me what they are thankful for this year.
▪ Nine-year-old Mira said: “I am thankful for my dad and my mom, and my stepmom and stepdad because they are everyday heroes. They save lives, three are nurses and my dad is the only cop in my family.”
▪ Thirteen-year-old Brayden said he was thankful for all of his family and “I love the tasty food on the table!”
▪ Sixteen-year-old Carja said she was extremely thankful for her mother and father because they always have her back, keep her headed in the right direction and never give up on her. She said she feels truly blessed.
▪ Sixteen-year-old Katelynn said she was thankful for her family and for them always being there to support her. “I am thankful for seeing another day, thanks to the man above, God. And am thankful and blessed to be living in a safe neighborhood and going to school so I can get an education.”
▪ Carja’s younger sister, Khia said: “There are a lot of things I’m thankful for, that I have a roof over my head, that I have clothes on my back, and that I have food in my mouth. I am thankful that I get a free education. Many people don’t think they have anything to be thankful for and they don’t feel blessed, but they are actually a blessing in disguise. I feel that everyone will have a blessing coming their way as long as they keep God in their hearts.”
A recurring theme of thanks for family and parents. I am thankful for my Lord Jesus, my precious wife and life partner Carol, my six children and their families, and this great country I am privileged to live in. There is so much to be thankful for each and every day if we would just take the time to look.
Thanksgiving blessings upon all who are reading this today.
Mike Fullilove of Long Beach writes about local, state and national issues from a conservative perspective.