The Gift of Thanksgiving

Rachel Melikian

Dear Editor,

Thanksgiving is now upon us and the rest of the holiday season will follow shortly after, disturbing our work habit and school advantages while offering opportunities to spend time with family and friends.

Thanksgiving, literally, is a time to be thankful for the many blessings and abundance that have been given to us. It is a harvest festival that cuts across boundaries of culture and religion, because everyone has something in their lives to feel thankful for.

Regardless, something is missing from its spirit. Do we really know how to give thanks and receive the gift of Thanksgiving? We give out thank you cards, gifts at Christmas, New Year, Valentine’s Day, for birthdays, graduations, and on many other occasions. However, the act of thanking is a symbol for the expression of gratitude, thankfulness, and appreciation.

I believe that being thankful only on Thanksgiving Day isn’t enough. It should be manifested throughout the year both in our good will, words, and actions. Therefore, we should give thanks to those who deserve it. “Kindness is the language which deaf can hear and the blind can see,” said Mark Twain.

Remember what the philosopher Epictetus has said “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for which he has.”

The meaning of Thanksgiving is never about our worries, nor counting our blessings during good times, rather is its worth recognized during hardship while taking the good with the bad in life with patience and understanding, declaring life is worth living, and never forgetting to show our gratitude and kindness. “If you can’t be content with what you have received, be thankful for what you have escaped,” and give thanks simply being alive.

I propose that we show our gratitude for good health by promoting healthy living, by supporting ethical farming practices that will perpetuate abundance by replenishing the soil, crops, livestock, and the farm workers themselves, and thanking our friends and family.

I propose that we show our thankfulness for the wonder of the world by protecting nature and all of its biodiversity, remembering all those who have enriched or touched our lives including teachers and professors, and touching those lives needing laughter.

The act of gratitude manifests itself into a domino effect of thankful actions and generosity creating a gratitude cycle of abundance in a beneficial and self-sustaining loop. The secret lies, passing on the grateful attitude and our labor as acts of gifts, every single day of our lives.

In day-to-day life, we hardly realize that we receive more than we give. It is only through gratitude that life becomes rich, adding enjoyment to our lives and contributing to our optimal happiness.

“A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue,” said Cicero “but the parent of all other virtues.” So let’s continue to live by what philosophers refer to as “a virtuous life,” all 365 days of the year to receive back the gift of life: of health and happiness, peace and prosperity, beauty, freedom, tranquility and abundance that simply follow by truly giving thanks.

Rachel Melikian, Former GCC Woman of the Year