In a few days, it will be Thanksgiving Day in the US. It is the American national holiday that is celebrated, each year, on the fourth Thursday in November. The day commemorates the original autumn harvest meal (1621) shared by the Plymouth Pilgrims with the Wampanoag Indians.
The meaning of this day is explained in this article:
Thanksgiving is all about reflecting on blessings and acknowledging gratitude. After all, in President George Washington’s 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation, he stated its purpose: “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me ‘to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.’”
Although we don’t have a similar day of celebration here in Australia, it is a good time to pause and remind ourselves of what this means. Is there any merit in spending some time, not just on one day of the year but a few minutes each day, to reflect on the blessings we have? To cultivate a sense of gratitude for the advantages and benefits we receive?
Relationship coach Lisa Arango says:
Gratitude is a choice, … [It] is noticing the good and recognizing where the good comes from, usually outside of ourselves. It doesn’t mean there is nothing bad or negative going on around us, it means that we are intentionally looking for the good.
We live in a fast-paced society and may find ourselves taking for granted whatever comes our way. If you are at the receiving end of something that is positive or beneficial, have you appreciated the words or gestures and acknowledged them? Or have you wanted to do so but did not know how to go about it?
It is never to late to develop the habit of being grateful. It may require an effort in the early stages, but with some practice it becomes a natural response.
Erin Evans writes:
Having an attitude of gratitude will literally change your life, and will also enhance the lives of others around you, but it’s not something that comes easily to many people.
She describes 11 Habits to Develop an Attitude of Gratitude In Every Situation so that it becomes a second nature to you.
In his post on the same topic, Kevin Carroll notes:
Silent gratitude has little value. Gratitude is meant to be expressed — openly, freely, consistently, and conscientiously. When we do this, gratitude can be life-changing. Gratitude does make a difference!