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Giving Thanks

Updated: Dec 5, 2020

Thank you, dear readers, from the bottom of my heart, for being here for me, for listening to me, for hearing me, for caring about what I have to say, and for hanging in there with me. You mean everything to me. Really! Where would I be without you!

Do you know what a lot of people are starving for on Thanksgiving? I’ll tell you what they tell me, and it’s not turkey, that’s for sure. They are starving for appreciation, for acknowledgement, for an expression of gratitude, for not being taken for granted. And that gets right to the heart of

Thanksgiving itself, doesn’t it? Which is giving thanks.

I want to help make this as rewarding as possible for you, especially since this is a very challenging Turkeyday for so many of us who aren’t physically present with all our family and friends. The key is pretty simple.

Don’t say, “I’m thankful for...” I’m sure you’re thankful for a whole bunch of things, but here’s the problem the whole “I’m thankful for...” business. When it comes to giving thanks, there is a relationship involved. I pass you the salt, and you say Thank you. You pay my way through college, and I’m hugely grateful to you and try to show it any way I can.

So if you say, “I’m grateful for...,” the question has to arise: to whom? If you’re not grateful to anyone in particular—let’s say you’re grateful for it being a really nice warm sunny day—then what you’re really saying is something like, “I really appreciate what a nice day it is.” And good for you!

But if you’re not thanking specific people for specific things, then you are missing out on a life-giving moment. There are people in your life who are aching to hear you give thanks to them. For things they’ve done, for who they are.

So do this. Say something like, “I’d like to thank you, mom, for the way you’re always there for me and always concerned about my welfare. And dad, thanks for how helpful you are. No matter what’s broken, you’ll help fix it, even in the middle of the night. And you’ll joke about it too. And Joey, I know I’ve called you a jerk a number of times, but in fact you’ve stood up for me more times than I can count, and I know you always will have my back. Thanks for being a great brother.”

THAT’S giving thanks. Thanking someone for something. Empty gratitude without looking someone in the eye is a waste of an opportunity. So on Thanksgiving, that day of all days, thank everyone you can for something they’ve done or for who they’ve been for you. They’ll thank you for it.


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