Sunday, November 28, 2010

Thanks Giving

Thanksgiving. Thanks giving. So in theory, we should thank and be grateful for what we have and then give back? But do we actually do that? I remember in middle school learning about the pilgrims and how grateful they were for the Indian’s help. Because of their generosity, they gave back to the land and their fellow neighbors. But when we fast-forward a couple hundred years I notice a difference. Thanksgiving has changed so much and I wonder if this mark has gone unnoticed. For one, the hullabaloo of the holiday has become a tradition, a day that is expected to occur. A turkey is killed and stuffed with bread and it’s assumed that this animal will be available. When the whole family is gathered around the table, a brief thanks is given for the family that was able to come in and a warm smile is sent to every member for their health and happiness. The “thanks” is taken care of but where’s the “giving?” Or was the “giving” not even meant to be incorporated in the title?

Because we are comforted by the thought that there will always be enough turkeys and airplanes to feed and transport many, we feel entitled to sit back and relax. We know these are constants and we recognize that we can take these for granted. But what if, say next year, turkeys become extinct and millions of families switch to Tofurkey instead? Would we recognize all those years that we took our comforts for granted? It’s never too late to start giving and it’s best to start now for we never know when things might change. Most importantly, this notion of giving and receiving is something that should not only be applicable to one time annually. As a moral citizen, I feel that it’s everyone’s responsibility to keep this in mind year round. Whether it be volunteering at a homeless shelter or committing smaller acts of kindness, these actions add up. I hope it’s not too late for the world to start giving back for what they’ve received.

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