Thanksgiving, this great American holiday, is a time to be both thankful and thoughtful in ways that too often get lost in the daily demands of life.
For some, Thanksgiving provides a "break in the action" so to speak. But it also represents the kick-off of a long holiday season with the two big ones, Christmas and New Year's, to follow.
For those who can, Thanksgiving means preparing a lavish meal with all the trimmings and trappings for family and friends. After feasting until your stomach literally feels stretched or either you think it certainly will from all the intake of calories, you begin to bemuse and wonder why you indulged yourself.
But what else does Thanksgiving mean? How many of us bother to look around at the things in our lives we should truly be thankful for? How many of us bother to look around at others in need to share what we have with them? Sharing doesn't always mean giving tangible or material items. However, for those who are without food, clothes and shelter, such items will certainly be a welcomed and useful gift.
But what about the emotional, love, and tender care needs right around you? What is your attitude and habit toward older members of your immediate family, aunts, uncles, grandma, and grandpa? Have you visited them, lately – before the Thanksgiving holiday and afterward? Have you picked up the phone to let them know you were thinking of them? Have you shared a meal, a hug? They may simply enjoy a visit, a good conversation, just some time—a little time from those they love.
What about our parents, our siblings, our children, our spouses? What about those you live with everyday, those sitting right around the table with you? Do you really know how they are doing? Have you had a quiet relaxed time with any of them lately to find out what kinds of things in their lives they are happy about, what things they are not? Have you bothered to let them know, and remind them, that if they have a problem you are there for them?
Jobs, school, cars, simply interacting with the world can take its toll on all of us. Too often we lose sight of the mental and physical well-being of those we love and hold dearest – despite texting, Facebook, Twitter, Skype and all the ways at our disposal to stay connected.
With all the means to stay connected and communicate, are we really?
Every family member's load can be lighter when it is shared through a communication system, through outward signs from each other that you care and you are there to help in any way you can.
So let Thanksgiving be a time to be thankful. But also let it be a time to be thoughtful – about those around us every day that we too often take for granted and too often ignore.
Use this "break in the action" to catch up on those you love. If you can't give a lot of food and material love, give some thoughtful time.
Happy Thanksgiving. Happy family unity and love, and let it extend as far and as wide as you are able.