Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Exploring our Thankfulness - 11-25-09 Editor's Column

It is again the time of year where we descend upon our families to enjoy turkey (or tofurkey, for those of you that are vegetarian), conversation and of course, Thanksgiving day football.

However, what is it about these things that really represent our thankfulness for what we have been able to experience or receive over the past year?

Within the typical Thanksgiving experience there are a multitude of different reasons we should be thankful for what we have this year.

The easiest of these reasons is the Thanksgiving dinner. With nearly 12 percent of residents in the state of Illinois in poverty and members of our own community unable to partake in a typical Thanksgiving meal, we should all consider ourselves thankful when we sit down to the table for what we believe will be the average Thanksgiving get together.

It’s easy to take the very food we eat for granted when it comes to us in abundance. However, when considering the alternative and that there are those who face it, perhaps we will cherish each bite a little more than in past years.

Another area in which we should consider our blessings is the time we spend with our families. Life is a fragile thing and this is especially true when considering our own families.

The adage of not truly appreciating someone until they are no longer there couldn’t be closer to the truth. The unpredictability of our daily circumstances should suggest giving thought to every moment we spend with our loved ones and taking in every conversation as though it were the last we would have with them.

Finally, and probably the most taken for granted, is to be thankful simply for the things we have. That’s it.

However, by things, I don’t mean “everything.” Instead, I mean the items that we have that make us laugh and smile; the items we don’t need but are fortunate enough to possess.

With so many people in the world going without in so many areas, many of us experience the exact opposite, and we should consider ourselves lucky by showing thankfulness for what we do have, even if we don’t consider it to be much.

This Thanksgiving, no matter what your circumstance, try to enjoy the view.

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