Thanksgiving is upon us. People are making plans for their feast.
Turkey terror and holiday horror are taking hold in homes across America. People cooking the celebratory meal fear the feast will not be up to expectations.
While suffering from the maladies of turkey terror and holiday horror, they are furiously making plans for Black Friday shopping. They are preparing to celebrate fearless conspicuous consumerism.
Forgotten in the annual day of feasting is the reason we celebrate. Thanksgiving. Giving thanks for all or what little we have. Practicing the attitude of gratitude.
Gratitude or thankfulness is an individual quality. There is no group think or herd mentality. Each has their reasons to be grateful.
Before you start your feast or even worry about it, take a few minutes, go to a quiet place and reflect on what you have to be thankful for.
Here is my list:
I have a roof over my head, food in my belly, and people who love me and I love.
My parents who set a great example for me to live by and probably never live up to.
My dog, Jack. Faithful companion and miserable mangy barking bowser. Yeah, I know, someday the mailman, UPS or Fedex guy will murder me, and he will bark, "I told you so."
My friends, neighbors, and acquaintances.
Bartenders. Next to dogs, bartenders are man's best friend.
Police officers, fire, and EMTs who risk life and limb for us to keep us safe.
Other emergency service workers who respond to utility outages on holidays.
Medical personnel working Thanksgiving who save lives and monitor the sick.
My faith, which provides the moral compass to guide my life.
Living in Chicago, one of the greatest and most vibrant cities in the world.
Knowing and meeting people from all walks of life from all over the world.
Artists, architects, designers, artisans, and other creatives who strive to make our world more beautiful.
For clergy, of all denominations and sects, who keep faith alive in God, Yahweh, Allah, Buddha, the Great Spirit, the Higher Power, the Great Comedian, or whatever your name is for the Supreme Being.
For the men and women in our military, serving at home and in the far-flung places of the world, who make great sacrifices for something called, "Duty, honor, and country."
For writers, poets, columnists, journalists, and others who use the written word to inform us, stretch our boundaries, teach us, or through their words make us face the truth or fantasy in our lives.
For the freedom to be who, what, where, how, and when I want to be, no matter what the detractors say.
For living in America, the "land of milk and honey," promised by God or whatever you all the higher power.
If, nothing else, the words of Ralph Waldo Emerson sums up the attitude of gratitude:
"For each new morning with its light,
For rest and shelter of the night,
For health and food,
For love and friends,
Thy goodness sends."
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