A Cornucopia, to be Sure
I know a lot of you are recovering from a tryptophan overdose and settling into your long Thanksgiving weekend. I hope you enjoyed your day with the people you love.
Last year I wrote a blog about the founding mother of the Thanksgiving holiday, Sara Josepha Hale. She believed that the country needed a day to give thanks and gratitude for all we had received. Abraham Lincoln agreed. On October 3rd, 1863, he declared a national holiday to give thanks on the final Thursday of November.
I want to go a step further today and celebrate our abundance during this past year. Some of you reading this may disagree with me, but I urge you to read on.
Firstly, my definition of abundance may differ from yours. Google defines abundance as a very large quantity of something. I contend that we all have an example of something we received in large amounts.
My example is love. I am blessed to have a family that shares their love with me daily, and I try not to take that for granted.
What is Your Focus?
You may receive a lot of love too, or money or new friendships. How about health? Did you have a healthy year, or did your family all come out of 2021 in good physical condition? That is to say, what did you really have to worry about in the big picture of life?
Similarly, if you or a loved one struggled with health, were they loved? Did they love you? My point is that life has many challenges and contrasts, but you get to choose how you feel about them. Indeed, someone will always have a more difficult story than you. However, you can still have empathy for them and feel your pain too. I believe this is what makes us human.
Abundance is something you get to recognize every day. You know what it feels like to walk outside your home and smell the fresh air. It hits you like a memory, fast and in great detail. I love waking up early in the summer and walking outside to hear nature uninterrupted. I can smell the fresh green grass and the variety of flowers in the landscape. My senses remind me of my abundance. That reminder makes me aware of all have been given.
Another example of all I have received, is my blog research. As I prepare for each week, I find the focus of my post and begin to learn about my subject. I would discover these wonderful people from the past and the present. It is still amazing to me to see how many people around the world stand up for us.
A Gift, nothing More
Sarah Josepha Hale, for example. She wanted the Americans in both the North and South to understand that they had more in common than they realized. Sara knew that if we could step away from our anger and focus on our abundance, that we could be kinder people to each other.
Likewise, George Washington Carver was born with no record of his birth and kidnapped at the age of one. What did he do? He did not focus on his misfortune. George would endeavor to learn and earn his education and dedicate his life to helping others. He would teach agriculture at the Tuskegee Institute for 45 years and create over 300 new products from soy and peanuts to help millions of farmers sell their crops.
You were Never Alone
I know we can turn our focus to what we don't have or what we want, but I urge you on this Thanksgiving to focus on all that you have in this now moment in time. You will see all the love that you have. Take a look at the people who are striving to make our world better. It could be a nurse or a teacher. Do you like your mailperson? Consider your therapist for a second, and see how they have helped you. Or maybe it is a best friend who has always been in your corner. My point is you are never alone. There are people everywhere who are advocating on your behalf, whether you know it or not. Now that is abundance in my opinion.