What would you be able to enjoy today if all you had was what you were grateful for yesterday? Not much, I’m guessing. I’m working on that one all the time. From seemingly little things like “Thank you for hot water and carpeting.” to “Thank you for my life and my friends and family.” Let’s work this one together. Gratitude, thanksgiving–not just the day– the act of thanksgiving–is the basis for everything.
We’ll take a look at how we came to celebrate Thanksgiving, and talk about why our annual, formal Thanksgiving should in part be an anchor; Thanksgiving Day should be an annual anchor, a more structured form of and a model for our daily thanksgiving. Yes, heartfelt thanksgiving needs to be a daily event. And a planned a planned daily event at that. It is good for our hearts and souls, and good for the planet.
What would you be able to enjoy today if all you had was what you were grateful for yesterday? Not much, I’m guessing. I’m working on that one all the time. From seemingly little things like “Thank you for hot water and carpeting.” to “Thank you for my life and my friends and family.” Let’s work on this one together. Gratitude, thanksgiving–not just the day– the act of thanksgiving–is the basis for everything.
We’ll take a look at how we came to celebrate Thanksgiving, and talk about why our annual, formal Thanksgiving Day should in part be an anchor; Thanksgiving Day should be an annual reminder, a more structured form of and a model for our daily thanksgiving. Yes, heartfelt thanksgiving needs to be a daily event. And a planned daily event at that. It is good for our hearts and souls, and good for the planet.
If you are planning on having turkey and “all the trimmings” on Thanksgiving, thank Sarah Josepha Hale. Hale was a strong and accomplished woman, and likely to have been the strongest voice in supporting Thanksgiving as a national holiday–and certainly the earliest. Despite what tradition may try to tell us, it is unlikely that the first Thanksgiving was celebrated with turkey–that was one of Hale’s lesser contributions.
Later on in 1863, at the height of the Civil War, President Lincoln issued a Thanksgiving Proclamation. “The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies…In the midst of a civil war of unequalled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict…fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.” In the middle of a horrific war which saw Americans killing more fellow Americans than were killed by foreign enemies in all of our other wars combined, Lincoln saw just cause to give thanks and to pray for healing. Where is our thankfulness; where are our thoughts and prayers for healing? Am I alone in observing that we have swapped thankfulness and healing thoughts for arguing, anger and making the other person or group wrong? At the end of the war, in Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Speech, after the North had won the war the South had started, here is part of what he said in his address to the nation, “With malice toward none, with charity for all, with firmness in the right as God gives us to see the right, let us strive on to finish the work we are in, to bind up the nation’s wounds…”. Malice toward none, and charity toward all. Doesn’t it seem like we have more and more malice, and less and less charity? And isn’t that exactly the opposite of what we need?
President Franklin Roosevelt declared Thanksgiving to be a national holiday in 1941. In 1997, my then 11-year-old son, Billy, codified the Luden Thanksgiving tradition with the words he wrote on a multifold Thanksgiving “flyer” printed out on our clumsy color inkjet printer. Here are his words, “Today we are gathered here to celebrate Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a time to forgive others and ask for forgiveness. It is also time to give our thanks to God. In this part of our joyous celebration, I have arranged for us to give our thanks to God. We shall go around the table, starting with a volunteer. We shall then share our thanks with each other going around the table clockwise. When everyone has shared what they are thankful for, I will ask for prayer requests. Ather that, let’s dig in.” -Billy Luden
Legendary presidents and other leaders helped to establish this important and aptly-named holiday. Individuals and families have carried it on and enriched it. Let’s keep on keeping on with Thanksgiving not only by being openly thankful to God and to those around us, but by making being purposely and openly thankful–as individuals, families and other groups–a regular part of our lives each and every day.
Join with me in using what we know how to do–what we know we must do–to everyone’s advantage. Remember, Revolution 2.0™ is coming. Please stand by…
Links and References
As we get ready to wrap up, please do reach out with comments or questions about this podcast or anything that comes to mind. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or connect with me on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn. And you can subscribe to the podcast on your favorite device through Apple Podcasts, Google, or Stitcher.
I publish two podcasts each week; mid-day on Tuesday and Friday. Every week. I am also considering doing these as videos on YouTube, and would love to get your thoughts.
Let’s apply the two Results With Reason main tenets to today’s issues. The two main tenets that we believe in at Results With Reason are:
- Personal Responsibility; practice it, teach it and
- Be Your Brother’s Keeper. Be patient with each other; when people truly need a hand up and not a hand out, be there. Teach and encourage; don’t criticize and reject. Love and lead. Remember, we are all in this together.
Now it is time for our usual parting thought. It is not enough to be informed. It is not enough to be a well informed voter. We need to act. And if we, you and I, don’t do something, then the others who are doing something, will continue to run the show.
Remember: Knowledge by itself is the booby prize.
Will Luden, writing to you from my home office at 7,200’ in Colorado Springs.
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