A place for reflection and introspection, communication and thoughtful conversation.
Thursday, 24 November 2011
SOME THINGS TO BE THANKFUL FOR
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy
Thank you. Thanks! I’m indebted to you. I am grateful. Simple words, some would say formulaic and conventional, added to our conversation to bulk it up. Or maybe automatically uttered – a conditioned reflex with some of us. Of the same ilk as: Pardon me, sorry, my apologies… The cynical would classify these utterances as hollow niceties mumbled without conscious effort or thought, white lies of circumstances, a concession to our social instinct that allow us to live with others of our kind in relative quietude.
And yet, I am hearing the words “thank you” less and less nowadays. With some people I’m lucky to get a grunt in place of thanks. With others, a more polite one would say, “cheers” to replace the word “thanks”. I want to hear the word thank you as much as I say it, not because I expect people to feel gratitude and express it to me in repayment for what I have done, but perhaps because uttering sincere thanks is an acknowledgement that ingratitude is a vile and uncivilised offence, a stain on one’s character, a wet sponge that rubs out totally one’s qualifications, education, breeding.
How many things in our everyday life we have that we should be grateful for! The list goes on and on… Speaking for myself, I realise that I am one of the privileged few that enjoys a comfortable life, has food on the table every day, a shelter over my head, a bed to lie down upon at night. I am grateful for the people around me who love and whom I can love back, my friends to whom I can turn when in need, with whom I can rejoice for my own or their successes, celebrate their or my achievements. I thank life for all that.
I am indebted to my family that raised and educated me, instilling in me an appreciation of beauty, a respect for my fellow human beings, tolerance for others who are unlike me, who may differ in their beliefs or have different faiths. I am grateful for being able to hear music, see the wonders of the world, admire what humans have wrought, enjoy the blessed routine of everyday life.
I thank providence for my job, my ability to earn enough to live comfortably. To work at something that fulfils me and allows me to use my talents. A job that helps me make the world a better place. I am grateful for my co-workers, my boss, my colleagues working in the same field – some of them on the other side of the world – who give me their support when I need it. I am grateful for all that and more.
Americans celebrate Thanksgiving today, and for that they should be grateful. A day set aside specially to say thanks. A beautiful holiday when families gather, sit around a table and join hands to be grateful for all the things that life has given them. And not only things! Perhaps even more than things, a day to be grateful for the presence of each other around that table that is laden with the fruits of the earth and people’s toil.
Happy Thanksgiving to all who celebrate it formally as a Public Holiday. To all others, why not celebrate it within your heart. Stop, think of all that you are grateful for and go say thank you to someone who is special to you…
I have been blogging daily on this platform for several years now. It is surprising that I have persisted as the world is changing and "microblogging" is now the norm. I blog to amuse myself, make comment on current affairs, externalise some of my creativity, keep notes on things that interest me, learn something new and to surprise myself with things that I discover about this wonderful, and sometimes crazy, world we live in.
I sometimes get the impression that I am on a soapbox delivering a monologue, so your comments are welcome.