Cooler weather has snuck up upon us once again, and November and the Thanksgiving season has begun. As tradition holds, this season is known as the month of giving thanks and being thankful for the people and things in our lives. And don’t get me wrong, I love Thanksgiving and I am extremely grateful for the people and things in my life. I also happen to relish the one day a year it is acceptable to eat as much turkey, stuffing, and pie as possible. However, this November and Thanksgiving season has left me with feelings of guilt and remorse for not having taken the opportunity to give enough thanks. I also happen to know I am not the only one out there who feels this way. We are all guilty of wanting more and more things, and often find ourselves forgetting to tell our loved ones how much we truly appreciate them.
Another thing we take for granted is our safety. In the past few days after the tragic events in Paris, a tremendous outreach and prayers have been offered, and this is truly mesmerizing to witness. Living in the United States, and especially secluded on our beautiful St. Thomas campus, we heavily engross ourselves and are consumed in our busy schedules and lifestyles. It is all too easy to get caught up in everything, and neglect the fact that other parts of the world are not as fortunate as us, hence, taking our own blessings for granted.
So this November and Thanksgiving season, I propose a challenge for you. I challenge you to not just pray in hard times, and not just give thanks in times of joy and plentiful. I challenge you to say exactly what it is you are thankful for, and say it out loud, telling people precisely how you feel. Yes, I know it’s hard, and maybe a little awkward, but just do it. You may be thankful for a teacher giving you a break from homework, or that amazing latte from your favorite coffee shop, or even your friend who always remembers to ask about your day. Even the little things in life are things we need to be thankful for. With all that being said, I have one last challenge for you- I challenge you to take these habits of giving thanks and telling people exactly how you feel, and apply them to the other 11 months of the year when it is all too easy to forget what exactly it is you are thankful for.
Good luck, I know each and every one of you can do it!