The meal isn't the point of the gathering. The meal is the magnet. The gathering is the point.
The first Thanksgiving was a community meal where neighbors and relatives joined with the neighboring Native Americans. Those indigenous tribes had welcomed them, made a treaty with them, and helped them to tame the land. It was the first harvest in the new world. After a year of death, starvation, and sickness, the Pilgrims at that meal survived and thrived. They did so as individuals each seeking individual achievement, accepting the rewards and consequences of each individual action, the the fruits of individual labors.
They didn't pray for more than what they needed. They were thankful for all they had achieved. They were thankful for the help from their neighbors and friends. They were thankful for the opportunities to achieve.
Be thankful for what you have. Be thankful for the opportunities you have had to succeed, even those you decided not to take. Stop blaming others because you do not have all that you want. Instead, be thankful you live in a place where you can still freely work to earn and achieve those things.
Be thankful for family and friends. Be thankful for the true friends who will tell you the truth, allowing your to grow and improve.
Thanksgiving may be a once a year holiday, but giving thanks should be done every day. Be thankful for your life, your breath, the opportunities presented before you each day, and the people in your life who support and celebrate those successes.
Erick Erickson penned a great Thanksgiving message over at Red State. It is a great read, especially the day after.
Rick Perry, Governor of Texas, sent out some words to ponder as well:
"As families across our state come together to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday, I encourage everyone to take time to reflect upon the ample blessings that have been bestowed upon us as Texans and Americans. As always, please keep the brave men and women of our nation's armed forces, serving their country far from home, in your thoughts and prayers throughout this holiday season."Senator Ted Cruz also had some inspirational remarks:
Greetings,Today, we celebrate the blessings of a people dedicated to liberty.Our forefathers fled religious prosecution to pursue the freedom of conscience in the New World, a bedrock principle we must continue to protect.As the pilgrims in their November 1620 Mayflower Compact, their very first governing framework, wrote: “ solemnly and mutually, in the Presence of God and one another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation.”A year later they thanked God for his providence, their first harvest, and a new land of opportunity. It was the nation’s very first Thanksgiving.Despite the many trials they faced, they expressed gratitude for the opportunity to live freely.President Calvin Coolidge reminded us nearly a century ago: “We have been a most favored people. We ought to be a most generous people. We have been a most blessed people. We ought to be a most thankful people.”And, we are.This Thanksgiving, Heidi and I wish you and your family the very best, and may God continue to bless the Great State of Texas and the United States of America.All the best,
And gentile readers, be safe and sensible if your venture out into that chaotic mob called "Black Friday". Be thankful for the deals you do get, not the ones they run out of. And, for goodness' sake, have fun. If you aren't enjoying it, go to work or go home. Buying presents should not be stressful. Capitalism is a great thing every day, not just one day each year. You don't have to do all of your shopping in one day. In fact, we're staying home and doing some crafting, painting, etc.