IT’S THE SMALL THINGS
As I get older, Thanksgiving has increasingly become more meaningful to me. I do not know if it is because of the American influence in all my years of studying there, or finding myself on this side of the world these days, but it seems to be a holiday with substantial meaning that resonates soundly with me. We aspire to live (or should, at the very least) our everyday lives with an attitude of gratitude, and I feel like the last Thursday of November is the day when we celebrate our grateful hearts, and personally, it also signals the start of the Christmas season for me.
Beyond the turkey and all its trimmings, Thanksgiving day is for family. I remember Thanksgiving to be the day when all my American classmates would excitedly go back to their home states to be with their families. It was a non-negotiable, and a holiday most definitely celebrated. A lot of them would also do the round the table tradition of sharing what it is they are most thankful for the year that has been. Although some of us in the Philippines have somewhat adopted the Thanksgiving dinner routine, I am not quite sure we practice the tradition, or if it is just another excuse to get together. Whatever the case may be, what is most important is that the meaningfulness of the holiday and the message it conveys is something we espouse, and practice every single day of the year.
Truly, if there is anything the past two years have reaffirmed in me, it is to be grateful for the things that truly matter – that which we may have once upon a time taken for granted. For instance, our good health, and that of our family, friends, and loved ones. To be able to live comfortably, and in a safe environment during these unpredictable times. To have a paying job, and a source of income in these dire, and trying times. To have food on the table, and enough for substantial meals when many go hungry. To have the capacity to share our blessings with those who may not have it as rosy in life, and simply, to be alive, kicking, and able with no ailments.
And though the above may sound cliché and cheesy, and somewhat like my own version of the song My Grown Up Christmas List, it is truly what I am most grateful for these days, among many other things. Many of us may till be drawn to beautiful things, and material things which suit our fancy, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. But ultimately, we truly care less about the material things we used to obsess about in our youth knowing the realities that life can impose on us. After all, we realize that material things are futile in the bigger picture, and temporary in the long run. Moreover, without being grateful for the bigger things, we are not able to afford them.
So this Thanksgiving weekend and always, may we not forget to give thanks for what truly matters in life. To count those blessings twice, thrice, and even more. To share them so that they too can go forth and multiply. After all, we attract the energy we give out. Let us manifest gratitude in our hearts, and everyday lives, without expecting anything in return. You will be surprised to see what the universe has in store for you.