Let’s make thanksgiving an everyday thing
You already know that celebrating my birthday is one of the reasons I love November so much, however, this month is full of reasons to celebrate—Veterans Day, All Saints Day, World Kindness Day– and one of my favorite, but oft overlooked crown jewels is Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving Day, coming later this week, often gets sidelined and minimized because it stands between Black Friday shopping and Christmas. I’m praying this year that Thanksgiving’s literal meaning–a day of thanksgiving and not a shortcut called Turkey Day—can and will again be a perfect excuse to reflect on the things we’re grateful for, an opportunity to gather with family and friends, watch great football, kick off the official Christmas season, drop money into the familiar red Salvation Army kettles, and help with the local shelter’s community meal.
Let’s take a moment and count our blessings, and as the song says, name them one by one. Even those of us who can’t do algebra will discover that we’ve been so richly blessed that it would take another 364 days to finish counting. (Maybe “can’t” do algebra is the wrong word—hasn’t done it successfully in the past 46 years is more accurate.) Nevertheless, I’ll go first.
I am thankful for significant others. Roger and I talk almost weekly about how blessed we are for the people, places and things that have created opportunity and life lessons, and those who’ve been the wind beneath our wings. People who made us special meals, saved our children, Angela and Marcos, from certain punishment, treated us like their own children or siblings—are what the Rev. Gary Henderson called “Significant Others.”
In a sermon last week, the Rev. Henderson talked about those we encounter on our journey who opened doors or maybe even closed some, but who made us stronger as we found a more excellent way to become our best selves. We don’t always know at the time how significant experiences will be but as my mother loved to say, “just keep living!”
I am thankful for music and books and people who use their words to make us better, braver, broader, and more in tune (pun intended). Through my love for, and lifetime of reading, I have traveled around the world, met heroes and heroines, gotten lost in bygone eras, and suffered many a late night because I had to find out whodunnit.
No matter the genre, once “Rock Around the Clock’” or “My Girl” gets played, they’re in your head all day. Both are more than 50 years old and are still loved because somebody somewhere was inspired to put pen to paper and create a masterpiece.
I am thankful for people who take a stand and do what’s right even when it’s costly or controversial. They take up causes like prison reform and creating a path to redemption and success for felons re-entering society, caring for the homeless and advocating for affordable housing, healing and protecting domestic violence victims, eliminating exploitation of the poor and other unfair business practices, restoring integrity to our electoral process, and working to bring hope, dignity, and respect to Native Americans whose first Thanksgiving set the bar pretty high.
An email I read a few years ago simply asked “If all you had today was what you thanked God for yesterday, would you be more thankful?” The answer, in the words of former vice-presidential hopeful Sarah Palin, “You betcha!” This is a gentle reminder that every day–rain, shine, sleet, or snow–ought to be a day of kindness and thanksgiving. I’m counting on you to make it so. Happy Thanksgiving.
What are you thankful for every day? I am all ears at #drbondhopson on Twitter and Facebook.
Looking for inspiration, empowerment, uplift, straight talk, an encouraging word to brighten your day? You’ve arrived! Meet Dr. Cynthia Ann Bond Hopson, best-selling author, educator, inspirational speaker, sistergirl–she’s all that and more. All the way from Stanton, TN (you can’t get there from here) to 50 states, six continents and everything in between, she’s wise, witty and altogether wonderful. She enthusiastically invites you to slow down, sit a spell, and share a giggle or two.