Although it shouldn’t be necessary, I feel that it is fortunate that once a year we are reminded in neon lights and trumpet fanfare, that it is our day to be thankful. We should be thankful as everyday is a gift to be opened only this one time and then it is gone; but sometimes the very act of living gets in our way of doing the right thing—like realizing the many blessings in our lives. It is easy to be too busy to remember what makes our lives worthwhile.
Perhaps it is because I have reached an age where the richness of reflection colors many of my thoughts; or perhaps it is because I now have the good fortune to work with olders that I am continually reminded of what true riches are. Do we need to be reminded that true wealth is in our experiences and relationships? Even the ones that aren’t easy, may also have been the very ones that have given us strength of character and resiliency. Being thankful should encompass every event and person in our life that has helped to create who we are.
More than ever before I am also thankful for traditions. I am realizing that it is traditions that shape our culture and provide a continuity between generations. Traditions come in all sizes and shapes. They can be societal, geographic, familial, or even personal. Traditions provide us with numerous benefits. They provide us with a source of identity; they tell the story of where we came from and remind us of what has shaped our lives. They connect generations and strengthen our group bonds and help us feel that we are part of something unique and special. They offer us both comfort and security especially in times of profound change and grief. They teach us values and help us pass on our cultural or religious history. Best of all, they create lasting memories which provides us with a wide variety of benefits.
We need to take a few minutes every day to make it a day of thanksgiving but especially make that the focus of your day today! It is also a day to be aware of the many traditions that shape our actions and reactions. And it is never too late to start a loving new tradition!
My wish is that you not only have many reasons to give thanks, but that you also are the reason many around you are thankful!
Happy Thanksgiving!

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