What does it mean to be thankful?

Jackson Thompson//

We hear it every Thanksgiving season, “I’m thankful for ___.” Fill that in with family, friends, careers, whatever it is that people say they owe thanks to. But what does it mean to be thankful for something? The phrase is quite simple, really, but if the concept of giving thanks was just as simple then why aren’t people thankful all year?

In truth, I think that when we say that we are thankful for something, we are owing it something more than plain gratitude. I am thankful for my parents and all of the wonderful support they have given me over my life, but I tell them that every time I talk to them. Is giving thanks a hollow notion when doing it on the holiday that uses it as a namesake?

Possibly, but is that not what holidays are for? Sweeping gestures to celebrate something more? We can love our significant other any day of the year, but Valentine’s Day makes it that much more special. Similarly, Thanksgiving is not to be a declaration of thanks, but a reminder. You are possibly thankful for your family, so you would take the time to gather with them one Thursday out of the year. So long as the day serves as a reinforcement then the thanks you give are valid.

Whether it be your own family, your health, your success, or even a specific close one, there is a lot to be thankful for this year. How do you want to show that?


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