THOUGHTS ABOUT THANKSGIVING GRATITUDE REWARDS ALL WHO FEEL, EXPRESS IT.
THANKSGIVING is our most profound holiday. It has a universal touch that is not present in most other holidays. Other special days are wonderful, but most are dedicated to particular beliefs - Hanukkah, Ramadan, Christmas - or to particular groups of people - mothers, fathers, veterans, all deserving of honor. Thanksgiving is for everyone.
The only other holidays that come close in applying to so many people are New Year's Eve, which lacks the same depth of purpose, and the Fourth of July, which, for all its importance, came 150 years after the Pilgrims first celebrated life on this continent.
It's just possible that without that 150 years of acknowledging and appreciating the gifts we had, we might never have received the blessings of independence and of wise founding leaders. During that century and a half we built up a reservoir of appreciation that served us well when we needed it.
I don't pretend to know why appreciation works, but the best analogy that comes to mind is that thoughts are like magnets. The more frequent and stronger the thoughts, the stronger the magnets. The more we think about appreciating things, the more things we have to appreciate. The less often we are appreciative, the less we have to be grateful for.
I'm thankful for the blessings in my life, because I have the freedom to choose, and I choose to be thankful. There are so many things to be thankful for. Even when we're poor, we have more than royalty had in centuries gone by. We are all thankful for different things. Our myriad blessings affect each of us differently, which is as it should be since we are all individuals.
Thanksgiving Day reminds me of how grateful I am for our system of free education. It directly enhances the lives of everyone. Most youngsters don't realize that our society wants the best for them so much that it spends at least $60,000 per child just to educate them through high school. Our community colleges are another blessing. These low-cost institutions make job training and higher education possible for hundreds of thousands who could otherwise never afford it. Many years ago, I was one of those hundreds of thousands.
When we look for reasons to be thankful, we find that we are surrounded by them. So this year, as we eat our turkey with the cranberry-orange stuffing and enjoy being with family members and friends, let's add one more thing to our list of blessings to be thankful for. Let's be thankful for Thanksgiving Day itself.
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|Publication:||Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)|
|Date:||Nov 28, 2002|
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