Editor’s Note. We are less than a week away from Thanksgiving. The following Thanksgiving article was posted in 2012. It is even more relevant today. Take some time this week to consider what Thanksgiving means to you. What will you give thanks for? What will win this year—black Friday or Thanksgiving?
Thanksgiving Day is upon us once again. A day of family, friends, food, and, my personal favorite… football! For some, it is a day of peace and introspection. For others, it is a day of volunteering at the local Soup Kitchen or maybe the Downtown Missions. Still, for others, it is another day of uncertainty as the very notion of when their next meal might be or if there is an available bed at the local shelter looms over them like a dark cloud.
Holiday Season Begins
Whatever the case may be, it is that time of year where the Holiday Season begins to rev up and we are bombarded by images of family, fun, and consumerism. I mean really, it seems to me that it won’t be long before we wind up ditching Thanksgiving altogether to give Black Friday the priority.
Don’t get me wrong, this is not an article in which I will spend my time calling out the evils of selfish materialism, demanding that we as a society had better learn how to be more grateful for what we have. No, I’ll let someone else write that article. Instead, I’d rather we take a moment and consider putting Thanksgiving into action.
Thanksgiving into action
“Thanksgiving into action,” you ask? Yep, Thanksgiving into action. You see, it’s really easy to sit back and say, “I’m thankful for my family, my health, my job.” But what if you were to take it to the next level and put those words into action? For example, what if you were to visit someone who has no family? What if you were to take the time and visit someone in the hospital whose health is failing them? What if you were to give a little to the person who has been unemployed for some time now? Basically, what if you were to share everything you are thankful for with those who do not have what you have? And lest you think I am above reproach, I am writing this while my own heart is convicted.
Thanksgiving Day might only come once a year but putting a thankful heart into action can be an everyday event. It doesn’t take much really. When you think about it, our days are filled with opportunities to improve someone else’s day. Rather than waiting for that one day out of the year where we typically gather with loved ones around a big meal, why not gather with the unloved and offer them your time? Rather than letting one day out of the year be your day to rest and reflect, why not give your time and energy to someone so THEY can rest and reflect?
Defined by actions
Seldom are we defined by our words, but we are frequently defined by our actions. Our actions give integrity to our words, not the other way around. So when we say how thankful we are for what we have, that’s just part of the equation. By putting Thanksgiving into action we SHOW the world how grateful we are.
I’m reminded of the Biblical Passage which says “Faith without works is dead.” Just as faith without works is dead, so too are our words if not supported by our actions. It’s one thing to say we’re Thankful, but to show it, to live it, to really give it; that is when the world stands up and takes notice. It is when we lead by example. And it is when Thanksgiving goes beyond one day in November.
Make a promise
So this year, as you and I gather around the table with our loved ones, let’s make a promise that we will act upon our gratitude. I’m not saying we need to sign up for the next missions trip to a third world country, I’m not saying we need to give away everything we own, I’m not even suggesting we have to get along with our in-laws (I’m sure that strikes close to someone out there). I’m merely suggesting that we take a small step forward, and let it build up some momentum for each day thereafter. Maybe it’s bringing dessert to your neighbor, or maybe it’s calling a friend who has fallen out of touch. Or maybe it’s just doing the dishes and letting the rest of your family relax while you do the clean-up.
No action is too small. No motive of gratitude is insignificant.
Remember; Thanksgiving Day might only come once a year but putting a thankful heart into action can be an everyday event.
Written exclusively for The Self Improvement Blog
By Tommy Wittig
© 2012 T-Dub-Ya Words
Tommy lives in Crystal, MN with his Wife, Kimberly and their three children, Jayden, Rachel and Zachary. When he is not writing or speaking, you will find him teaching or playing Guitar or running and practicing Yoga. A self-taught musician, a Head-Banger at heart, and an exercise junkie, Tommy takes his love for Rock And Roll center stage with a style that is rare in the Self Improvement field. “I coined the phrase ‘No suit, No tie, All business’ because I wanted to be different in my approach to the people I hope to reach.
You’ll find a long-haired, T-shirt and Jeans wearing guy lecturing you on Personal Responsibility and Integrity. We’ve all heard it from the Suits, and while I am not knocking them, I think there is a new generation of people coming up that don’t wear the suits and ties and want someone they can relate to. That’s where I hope to come in.”
You can visit Tommy at his Website, www.tommywittig.webstarts.com
Feel free to email Tommy at, firstname.lastname@example.org