Ima be real w/ y'all for the next few minutes. If that's not your particular brand of sweet tea, I understand completely. Just know I promise to be back next week w/ more funny stories or scathing bits of social commentary.
With this past Thursday being Thanksgiving, I have noticed a great many of my friends making daily posts about things they are thankful for. Most seem to take the exercise quite seriously and cite things such as friends, family, home, etc. All noble gestures for sure. All very valid things.
As time goes by though, I can’t help but notice that several people have taken to posting things such as boobs, beer, video games, etc. While I have no doubt that these things are quite important to them, it seems a bit…misguided? Shallow? Distasteful? To post those as the things people are most thankful for in the world. Seems that people are making a mockery of the entire practice and those that choose to take part in it.
A couple days ago a friend and I were discussing the holiday, thankfulness, etc. and the topic came up. She was nothing short of appalled at some of the postings people were putting up and asked what I was most thankful for.
I think my response surprised. She insisted I post it here. While it generally isn’t my style to post such things in this space, I agreed to for this week only…
First and foremost, obviously I am thankful for my family, for my friends, for my readers, for a multitude of things that could easily fill a month’s worth of facebook posts. To me though, stating that thankfulness out loud is not really the point of Thanksgiving. Certainly not when most people then follow that up with Black Friday, a day spent exulting all the avarice the American lifestyle by-and-large has come to represent.
As a write, I spend a lot of time with words. (Shocking, I know). Thinking about them, analyzing them, Manipulating them. Constructing and deconstructing them.
As such, I have always preferred to take a more literal approach to Thanksgiving. I don’t view it strictly as a day for giving thanks. Instead, I like to think of it as written and offer thanks-for-giving.
To me, giving calls for a level of self-reflection and opening up that simply saying thank you never would. It forces us to examine the people and relationships that mean the most to us and determine what it is they need. It then forces us to look introspectively and determine what it is that we have to offer that most aptly fills that need.
Some time, or even most of the time, that thing isn’t a material gift. Heck, it might not even be a gift at all. But that act, that moment where the two sides are brought together in complete understanding of one another, is what I’m most thankful each year at this time.
And with that, I simply say again, thanks for giving.