“Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.” Theodore Roosevelt
In November of 1621, after their first successful corn harvest, Governor William Bradford organized a celebration. Comprised of struggling colony’s and their Native America allies, it was a day to come together to appreciate the bountiful foods before them – during a period of time filled with unending sacrifices and personal struggles. More importantly, it was a celebration of life and the people they were fortunate enough to still have around during a break from the harsh realities they had to endure.
Americans today have little understanding of what it was like to live during the time of the first Thanksgiving. Hunger, disease, bloodshed and the constant unknown eradicated much of the joy from their existence. Their survival from one day to another often weighed heavy on their minds, while robbing all hope from their hearts.
Many of us forget just how fortunate we truly are to have homes to keep us warm, food to satisfy our appetites and people we love to ask how our day was. Today’s generation has been afforded more luxuries than any other generation before it, and yet we’ve become so self-serving, uncaring and unsympathetic to anyone’s cause but our own.
Yes Thanksgiving only appears once on the calendar, but the impetus for that first celebration back in 1621 is something we should take with us all year long. To celebrate life and those we are so privileged to share it with. Erase selfishness and make time for the ones we so often take for granted. Let kindness guide you on your way and you’ll see just how contagious it can be on the world around you.
On this Thanksgiving and all year long, remember and appreciate all the wonderful blessing your life has been given. For as Thornton Wilder once remarked, “We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.”