Many of us will be sitting down to festive dinner tables, with bronze-colored turkeys, candied yams, greens, homemade rolls, macaroni and cheese and other favorite dishes on Thursday, Nov 26 when America celebrates Thanksgiving Day.
Some will eat quickly so they can tune in to their favorite college football games.
Others will be attending to children, catching up with relatives who they haven’t seen for months, or just sitting back enjoying a day off from work.
Ironically, we almost take the day for granted. Just look at the commercials and advertisements that have proliferated our televisions, newspapers and billboards. After the highly-profitable “celebration” of Halloween, many entrepreneurs seek ways to take our money in the two-month rush for Christmas.
Already, we’ve heard promises that this year’s “Black Friday” will be better than any other in history with alleged discounts and sales that we just should not miss. However, in the push to buy or sell, we have forgotten something very essential – giving thanks for life.
As we look around the globe, we have witnessed recent terrorist attacks aimed at civilians in places like Paris, Mali and Nigeria where innocent men, women and children have either been killed or kidnapped.
Here in the U.S., while those of us fortunate enough to be able to eat to our heart’s desire will mark the day with our loved ones, others will be forging for something, anything to eat. The homeless, the mentally impaired, the abused, the abandoned, the lost, will find nothing enjoyable about Thanksgiving Day.
We salute the thousands of residents here in the Greater Washington Area who have donated money and food to help the needy. We salute those who have participated in fundraising efforts or who have gone to shelters to feed those who are less fortunate. We salute those who accept the mission of being “their brothers and sisters keepers.”
What would happen if we decided as a nation to give thanks for all that we have every day of our lives – 365 days a year?
Instead of acting as if we deserved what we have, we would remember that without the blessings of God, we would have nothing. We would share what we have with others. We would abandon notions of grabbing as much as we can while ignoring the needs of the many. We would live as if we were truly thankful.
After you’ve have your share of turkey, cakes and pies, take a moment and go to a quiet place and consider why you should give thanks on this day and all others. Despite the calamities and senseless violence that continues around the world, we’re here, alive today. That’s more reason than any other why we should give thanks.
Happy Thanksgiving America.