… and this is the season of Thanksgiving in America.
Tomorrow in the United States, we gather together to give thanks for freedoms enjoyed, to share fellowship with family and friends, enjoy food and drink, relax in safety and relative comfort, enjoying whatever version of the American Dream we each are working on.
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, as we say …
Interesting that while we do so, many of us are also engaging in intense discussions about whether to allow others the opportunity to enjoy those same things: the chance to live in freedom, to be fed, clothed, and sheltered, to be happy, to enjoy life, and all that stuff.
The word “Thanksgiving” is a compound word, with two distinct but very connected parts: “Thanks” and “Giving“.
…Gratitude or a sense of positive regard for what we have, rather than the manic pursuit of what we do not have, which will begin on either Thursday afternoon, Thursday evening, or Friday morning for many.
Interesting that some store chains are making great “hay” out of remaining closed on Thursday, while still opening early on Friday and otherwise contributing to the retail madness.
The issue before us is how we express our gratitude for what we have, while trying to escape being sucked into the buying frenzy that usually occurs this time of year.
The second part of the compound is what Google calls a “Verbal“.
The definition for verbals is … “formed from a verb but functioning as a different part of speech. A gerund is a verbal ending in -ing that functions as a noun.” (Google)
So to my simple mind, this means that “Giving” is both a verb and a noun. It is an action and a thing.
Giving can and does occur throughout the year for some folks, but for too many, giving remains a special event, often connected to an occasion … something we do as a special thing.
Case in Point: Next Tuesday is Giving Tuesday. I always support this day by a series of blog posts highlighting three or four entities that I believe deserve support and by encouraging people to give any amount to those entities. I will happily do so again this year.
Giving Tuesday works, according to the organizations which take part. Giving goes up on and around that day. This is all well and good, and I am sure that those who donate on this occasion feel good about doing so. They should indeed rejoice in their sharing with others.
However, I have a concern …
MY QUESTION: Why does it take a special day to increase giving to worthy causes?
Consider the benefits if we were both thankful for what we have and engaged in the spirit of giving to others every blessed day of the year. To my possibly biased eyes, this seems like a very good idea.
After all, those good things we will celebrate tomorrow with food, family, and fun, are in our lives all through the year, not just on Thanksgiving.
Disclaimer: I am not suggesting that we do away with Giving Tuesday or that you should not give to your favorite causes or organizations next week. PLEASE support as you can.
I just want you to think just a little more deeply about this whole “Thanksgiving” thing.
Just something to think about as you either fight through or avoid the crowds in the Heartland ….
Image: Turkey Drawing by Kakisky from Morguefile.com