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That Lost Thought Of “Thanks!”

By:  Greg Allen - Special to GCN   11/30/14

 
I'm convinced you can never say Thanks enough, because people wanna know they're appreciated - it's in our DNA.  Yet it seems that with the busyness of life the thought’s lost its polish, slipping our minds into the abyss.

I think it's a character flaw when someone never says thanks for anything, but there are people like that.  For some it's never enough, never will be, that's flawed thought.  They don't appreciate anything but self - they are what they are.  The best advice I could give would be to pay attention more to the individuals and circumstances that encapsulate your life.  

It's been said the first Thanksgiving feast was when the British colonists, we call them Pilgrims, celebrated days of Thanksgiving as part of their religion.  But they were really days of prayer, not days of feasting.  Our national holiday stems from a feast held in 1621 by the Pilgrims and the Wampanoag Indians to celebrate the colony’s successful harvest.

President Lincoln was the first to proclaim a national day of Thanksgiving during the Civil War, on Thursday, November 26, 1863, that the nation could give thanks for the union.  He did it in hope of soothing the national mood which was growing weary of war.  He declared Thanksgiving again on November 23, 1864.  In 1865, his successor, Andrew Johnson, declared Thanksgiving for December 7, 1865.  Johnson was the first to give Government employees the day off, making it a legal holiday.  It wasn't until 1941 that Congress passed a bill into law affixing the date of the fourth Thursday in November to be the official holiday. 

Before the advent of processed food, or the General store, you had to hunt your meal or raise it.    My family always has a garden every year and we have fruit trees, but it's always been a wonder to me how the vine and limb provides.   

My wife and I make it a point to pray over every meal we consume, being thankful for something to eat.  Next time you're in a restaurant take the time to look around to see who’s praying over their food.  I'm sure you'll see it's only a miniscule amount, if any, giving thanks.  As a child I knew hunger - I wish that on no one. The nonprofit we run hears the stories, sees the photos, and knows the anguish of those overseas.  We’re such a spoiled bunch in America.

It's my contention everyday should be like Christmas or Thanksgiving.  Thanksgiving need be day in and day out.

When our kids were still at home we had a tradition of sitting down at the table before eating the big meal on Thanksgiving Day.  One by one we would go around the table and have each family member recite what they were thankful for that particular year.  Of course the smallest child would give thanks for Barbies or toys.  The teens would be thankful for something like Nintendo.  My wife and I were usually thankful for work.  (Feel free to implement the idea)

As your homework assignment, make a list of that which you’re most thankful for.  Begin with pen and paper.  In case of emergency, in which you can't think of a thing, grasp pen in hand, wad paper, unfold, and begin once more.  If your mind is still blank therapy’s suggested.

Today I'm thankful for:  Free speech - the ability to have this platform from which to touch others.  I appreciate the newspaper editor who gave me my first shot at writing a column; she saw something in me others didn’t.  My personal editor is my wife; I love her but get frustrated with the red ink at times.  Lastly, I want you to know how much I appreciate you, the reader, for taking the time out of your busy days to ponder over that which pours from me.   



Greg Allen’s column, Thinkin’ Out Loud, is published bi-monthly.  He’s an author, nationally syndicated columnist and the founder of Builder of the Spirit in Jamestown, Indiana, a non-profit organization aiding the poor.  He can be reached at www.builderofthespirit.org or follow him on Twitter  @GregAllencolumn 
© Greg Allen ~ All Rights Reserved


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