Who would you like to have to have lunch with, if you could choose anyone from the past or the present? This was the question at a church retreat several years back and many of us answered “Abraham Lincoln.” Among the many questions I might ask “Honest Abe” would include: how, in the midst of a bloody war could one advocate a time of Thanksgiving?
But that’s exactly what he did in 1863.
We recognize plenty of pain and suffering in our world, just like the United States President did seven score and twelve years ago. Yet in the midst of this, we can also be thankful. Most U.S. citizens have the right to vote – a privilege that so many around the world do not possess. We can be thankful for the beauty of our earth, the (mostly) clean air that we breathe, free speech, a society with rules that seem reasonable most of the time, etc..
Our thankfulness continues on a human scale with the opportunity to enjoy time with many others in our community who tend to be friendly, helpful and kind. In his book The Four Things That Matter Most, author Ira Byock maintains that saying “Thank you” is one of the four things that matters most. To whom in your life would it make sense to say thank you today? Please put the paper down for a minute (or avert your eyes from the computer screen if you’re reading this online) and think about some of the people you could thank today, living or dead. Maybe you’ll even want to start a list of such women and men so you can write each a note?
As we think about those folks, doesn’t it make sense that we could dedicate a day of Thanksgiving – and maybe more – throughout the year? Abe had the right idea. This November 26, 2015, let’s join together by saying a hearty “thank you!” to so many in our world who are making life better for us and others. Those words of thanks will bring a lot of smiles and warm memories (on that day and all year round.)
Enjoy the day…and the memories!
Steve Long, an Anderson Township resident, describes himself as an “aspiring memory missionary.” He and his wife Kim are having fun with their Long Memories efforts (www.LongMemories.info), focusing on helping others in “Making, Capturing, Organizing and Sharing Memories…Now and (Virtually) Forever!”