I say we rename Thanksgiving. How about Gratitudegiving instead? It’s not as catchy, but it’s better - because thanks and gratitude are different.
Thanks is a word in passing.
“Can you please the turkey? Thanks.”
It’s what we (hopefully) say when a stranger holds the door for us. Or someone picks up something we dropped.
But gratitude isn’t drive-by. It’s immersive. It’s posturing our hearts to see the good and recognize the blessing in it. It’s savoring - the way you soak in a sunset at the beach, or close your eyes and absorb the flavor of a delectable food or a tight hug when you need it most. It’s sinking into the realization of how much better off you are with that person or thing or ability than you’d be without it.
As I've used my journalist toolbag to study and then practice grateful living over the last four years, I've learned that gratitude can enhance your life and change the hard wiring in your brain for the better. It builds connection between people and with God. Those who live gratefully are usually happier, healthier, and may live longer. And in hard times like right now, it provides water wings - buoyancy - in a stormy sea. All we need is enough lift to keep one nostril above water and grateful living can give us that. And more.
So, soak in every bit of goodness you can find and let it fill you, buoy you, and give you hope. And watch this interview I did with Brent Levy about a few of my own ideas on bringing a truly grateful heart to the dinner table for Gratitudegiving (aka Thanksgiving). Listening is an enriching way to spend ten minutes while you’re prepping dinner.
Happy Gratitudegiving to you and yours! May you all feel - really, deeply feel - the good!