My apologies to my email subscribers, who received last year’s Thanksgiving post today when I accidentally deleted it, reposted it on backdate but forgot to block the republication from being emailed out. I’m really not blog post-crazy for Thanksgiving, just a little WordPress-illiterate. Here is my Thanksgiving 2013 post:
For the past few days, I’ve been watching the social media outlets for posts about what people are thankful for. I genuinely like those kinds of posts, I really do. It reminds me of all the things I am thankful for. There have been a few so far, but so few that I’ve been left feeling surprised. Surprised that this year the focus seems to be more about the food we are all enjoying this weekend, than about the things in our life that we are thankful for.
Is expression of gratitude so difficult? Is discussion of interesting food creations easier to talk about than feelings of thankfulness? Has it become un-cool to be thankful? Do we take all the wonderful things in our lives for granted? Or, have we simply lost interest in what Thanksgiving is really about?
I may be just an old fuddy-duddy Traditionalist, but I never got the memo advising me that the “Thanks” was being removed from Thanksgiving.
What did I get in response? Nothing. Silence. Not one single response. I’m willing to concede that perhaps many of my American followers were wondering if I was a little premature in my Thanksgiving exuberance, or that many of my Canadian followers were busy chowing down on all the delicious food I saw described all over social media, or lying on the couch recovering from it. I’m even willing to acknowledge that perhaps my attempt at social engagement needs a bit of refinement in order to garner responses.
However, I must say, I did head off to bed last night feeling a bit disappointed that not one single person was interested in sharing even ONE thing they were thankful for. At THANKSgiving. I felt the “Thanks” was missing this year, and that bothered me.
This morning when I woke up, I was determined to at least express here in a post MY gratitude for everything I’m fortunate enough to have in my life. I turned on my phone and the first thing I read was a Facebook thread about a single woman in Ottawa who was down on her resources and luck, with a newly-diagnosed special-needs toddler on her hands, and she posted an ad on Kijiji for help obtaining a used snowsuit for her daughter and some direction towards any support she could get in managing the special needs of her child. There was an outpouring of support and donations for this woman, to the point where she has said her bucket is full.
This wasn’t people shouting their gratitude from the rooftops, but it was a beautiful story about what humanity should be, so it warmed my heart just as much.
Then, in that same Facebook thread, the discussion turned to a kindness movement that is just beginning to take shape. People were jumping in to the thread and volunteering their various skills and talents to help the kindness movement grow.
More humanity at its best. I was feeling better every minute.
I sat down to my usual morning routine of caffeine, Twitter and more caffeine. Suddenly there in my feed appeared this:
But then further down my Twitter feed appeared this:
My heart stopped. Figuratively, of course, because I’m still here writing this, but hopefully you get the magnitude of the moment for me.
This quote was describing what I had witnessed earlier in the Facebook thread – human kindness. Showing gratitude by giving.
Turns out there IS “Thanks” in Thanksgiving, after all. I simply needed to look through a different pair of glasses to find it.
So, in addition to last year’s post about all the things I’m thankful for, I’m adding my gratitude for social media, which has introduced me to a world of different perspectives and opened eyes that I thought were already pretty wide-angled. Thankfully, I was mistaken.
Be thankful. In every way you can.
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