Thanksgiving is over. When I arrived back in town yesterday from visiting with family, I stopped at the gas station down the street. It's run by a family from Yemen I believe. I told the young man at the cash register Happy Thanksgiving. He informed me that they didn't celebrate Thanksgiving. I felt sad for him because I felt he was missing what Thanksgiving really is about. Yes, it is about different things to different people. To some individuals it is simply about a feast. To others it is about the time they spend with their family. And then there are those who celebrate Thanksgiving by going through the newspaper looking for the shopping frenzy that takes place on Black Friday.
Overall, Thanksgiving is about being thankful. Well, at least that is what it is supposed to be anyway. I wanted to reply to this young man that doesn't everyone have something to be thankful for? It doesn't matter whether you celebrate the holiday or not. But there was a line so he really didn't have time to discuss anything with me.
But this interaction did make me think. Yes, it is easy to say that we are thankful for something. And I believe that many of us do vocalize this. Many people I know voice things that are great in their life. But is that our attitude? Are we truly thankful for the abundance that most of us experience? I believe most of us don't. Otherwise, statements like the young man I spoke with wouldn't say we don't celebrate Thanksgiving.
Thanksgiving is really a lifestyle. It's one where we are not oblivious to the problems in our everyday life. But it's one where we are able to see that things could be so much worse. It is about enjoying the moment even though what is going on can be difficult.
Now, the last question I asked myself about this interaction is do I do what I am thinking about? Do I have a thankful attitude? Well, yes, when things are going well. It's easy to be thankful then, but what about the times when challenges arrive? Maybe sometimes, especially if the difficult times pass quickly. But when they stretch on how do I act? Not always the way I want to.
So through the interaction with this young man, I realized that maybe I need to take a look at what my attitude really is. And think about if I truly had a thankful attitude. Or is it something that I just set aside for a certain season of the year?