Do You Know What You’re Thankful For?
instead of just going on “automatic”
and having someone else give a brief thanks before diving in to eat,
you can turn the occasion
into a time to think about what YOU are actually thankful for.
Traditionally, we give thanks for the food we are about to eat. But we forget to acknowledge the multitude of people who were responsible for making that food available to us:
- The farmers who worked the soil, planted, watered, and harvested the fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains we enjoy in salads, cereals, breads, and desserts
- The turkey (and other meat or fish) farmers who husbanded the animals that provide us meat and dairy products
- The processors who prepared the food from the farm for our healthful consumption
- The wholesalers and distributors who got the food from the farms to the stores
- The retailers who provided a place for us to shop for the foods of our choice
- Our hosts who offered a place to gather and earned the money to pay for the food
- Ourselves and other guests who contributed money or brought a dish to share
That’s a lot to be thankful for!
But Wait – There’s So Much More To Be Thankful For!
If I had to sum up everything I am thankful for in word, that word would be CHOICE:
- I can choose to live by someone else’s say-so or by my own best judgment.
- I can choose the kind of work I do.
- I can choose where and how I live.
- I can choose when to do what.
- I can choose to make a change.
- I can choose the food I eat, the clothes I wear, the automobile I drive, and the computer, cell phone or other electronic devices to use.
- I can choose my romantic partner.
- I can choose what I want to produce and what I want to consume.
- I can choose which relationships I want to engage in.
- I can choose whether to live on my own or trade with others.
- I can choose whether and when to consult with experts in an endless variety of fields.
- I can choose to defend myself against unjust criticism, the initiation of force, and threats of force.
- I can choose to speak my mind in person, over the airwaves, in the newspaper, and through the Internet.
- I can choose use the fruits of my labor to improve my life.
- I can choose which political candidates will defend our right to CHOOSE.
Whom should we thank for all these wonderful choices we have? You already know the answer: our Founding Fathers, along with the great thinkers that informed and inspired them.
When you give thanks for what you are grateful for, you get in touch with you deepest values. You confirm what is important and precious to you. And you come away inspired with a new resolve to keep striving for the values that make your life so worth living.