Before Thanksgiving gets smothered by Black Friday and all the buzz in December … I’d like to invite you to pause for a moment to reflect on the reason we celebrate THIS holiday. Thanksgiving, according to its origins, is a time to rejoice together in the fruits of our labor and the alliances we’ve formed. It’s a time to give and receive. It’s a time to be grateful. It’s a time for harmony.
Although the alliances represented in traditional Thanksgiving tales were undermined by the actions of future generations, perhaps that gives us all the more reason to focus on returning to harmony by remembering to be kind, considerate and supportive to one another on this day and every day, to appreciate the gifts from others and to pay them forward at every opportunity.
The Sioux Lakota were not the same tribe who celebrated the first Thanksgiving with the Pilgrims, but their prayer for harmony, “Mitakuye Oyasin”, seems appropriate for this day. Literally translated it means “We are all related”. It pertains to all life, in all forms. When we recognize that everything we do has the potential to affect the world around us we realize that every moment of our lives is important – and that each of us plays a significant role in the universe just by the way we interact with others, how we treat other life (including the four legged, the many legged and even the no-legged) and how we respect all of the resources on which we depend for survival.
Throughout history Thanksgiving has represented the contrast between famine and feast – by celebrating the of the end of difficult times with the gifts that came later – by the fruits of one’s labor, by the gifts of one’s neighbor or by the Grace of God. During the Civil War in 1863, Abraham Lincoln, by the urging of Sarah Josepha Hale established Thanksgiving as a national holiday inviting all Americans to ask God to “commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife” and to “heal the wounds of the nation.” In ancient times, the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians all paid homage after the Fall harvest, and many Native Americans annually celebrated the abundance of fall before the harsh conditions of winter arrived.
In a Taoist sort of way, Thanksgiving seems to represent the yin and the yang – opposing forces that yield back and forth to each other to achieve balance. We must keep moving along with the understanding that things change. Things won’t always be good, but they won’t always be bad either. So whatever you’re going through today, don’t let it consume all your energy because tomorrow may bring an entirely different page to your story. Enjoy now – celebrate it with gratitude and love. Start tomorrow with the reminder that you play an important role in the world and then go out and play it well.
Here’s wishing you a Thanksgiving filled with gratitude and love. May you enjoy the fruits of your labor and your relationships with others by giving, receiving and celebrating.
Learn more about the history of Thanksgiving in this wonderful article from the History channel: https://www.history.com/topics/thanksgiving/history-of-thanksgiving
In the spirit of giving, this link contains extra special offers and events we hope you’ll take advantage of in November & December