Intro to giving thanks – some basic guidelines

I have a cold and cynical side, and I have a depressed and defeated side. Often, as is true of late, I experience both in tandem. Gratitude and thanksgiving are very important things to which one must give oneself over, and I suppose you could say the season for such things comes at a very opportune time for me. There are few things that disperse egocentric maladies than gratitude.

There are few things that disperse egocentric maladies than gratitude.

Even if your spirit is robust, however, and you lack my frailties, it’s just as important for you as it is for me to get it right. This isn’t some Thanksgiving Day let’s-go-round-the-table routine. When it comes to our giving thanks, let’s not be rote and glib in our citations of generic “health” and “most people we like are not dead yet.” What we want is to experience the acknowledgement, humility, and growth inherent to a sincere and vibrant spirit of gratitude. What are those specific components of life for which we are so grateful we feel as though we owe something in return? Some will inevitably be matters of fate, matters for which we have no definitive entity to whom we might owe, and for those elements we are simply to lift our hands and thoughts to the sky or to the earth, or to both at once.

That’s our responsibility, here…more importantly, it’s the only way we can truly connect with one another at all.

We’re going to find that there are things for which specific and real other people are responsible, and it’s on us to say directly to those people the thanks that are due to them. If it’s appropriate to show one’s gratitude with some small but tangible token, let’s take the opportunity to do so. That’s our responsibility, here. This is not just good form, it’s the only way we ever will truly grasp the totality of our own stories – and, even more importantly, it’s the only way we can truly connect with one another at all.

Onward, then, pilgrims!

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