Much of my time this year has been used to test and define how and why I do the things I do. One of those areas pertains to holiday celebrations: is there a good reason behind each date I consider important on the calendar? Why should I alter my behavior around a specific day, and should I support the way it’s always been done?

Since the first week of November, I’ve been wondering about Thanksgiving. Why do we take one day and offer thanks, how should it differ from the rest of the year, are we actually focusing on more than food, etc. I narrowed it down to three questions and one statement – I’ll keep it short!

The last one is the most practical when we think about Thanksgiving day. One of the most sincere ways to show thanks is by surrendering something we care about. For me, this means being willing to give up something I like for the betterment of something else. It might be something simple: performing an act of service, or being willing to listen when I’d like to speak. Sometimes it may require more sacrifice: giving more than just what I can spare, or dying to myself out of dedication to something else.

I know this was a bit shorter than most of my ponderings, but I found it interesting to examine nonetheless. So often we’re asked to “remember to be thankful” but never really pushed to think about what or why that is. Try to define if/why/how you’re thankful for things sometime; don’t settle for easy answers, really think it out and make it personal.

“If we, out of humble appreciation, dedicate ourselves to responsibility with the things we have, we will never require what we have not.” –Baird Metternich

Have a very happy Thanksgiving day!