Often times it feels like we see Thanksgiving Day as nothing more than the starting gate to the Holiday season. I am guilty of that as well. This year, between my daughter reminding me of the story of the first Thanksgiving and my own need for reflection, I am treating Thanksgiving with respect.
The reason we celebrate isn't because we need to take time to look around at the things we have and be thankful. Although we almost certainly need to do that from time to time. The reason for Thanksgiving is, to me, a reminder that we are human and our ability to survive and thrive is in some part due to the grace and kindness of other humans.
Seriously, think about what was in the hearts and minds of those Native Americans so long ago. They did not see the religion or race or language of the Pilgrims. They saw people who needed help. As we go through life we all have a turn of being the Pilgrim. Times when you are unsure where to turn, how to move yourself forward, times of uncertainty. Admitting we are weak, whether it be our health, our finances, or just our own insecurities is always hard. Think about who were your Native Americans when you were in need. Have you thanked them? Did you pay forward their gift to you? Have you taken your turn being the one to help, to guide, to reassure?
Thanksgiving matters. It is our reminder that we are all trying to achieve the same goals. We are all here to help one another. To move ourselves in a better direction. To serve ourselves and others in grace and kindness.