Editorial: In celebration of gratitude
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines thanksgiving with a small T as “a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness; the act of giving thanks; a prayer expressing gratitude.”
We have the public celebrating down pat. Celebrating is an area in which Americans excel. We do love a party, and if it’s a party with a gigantic parade that shuts down a major city? Well, that’s even better.
Where we could use some work is in the gratitude department.
Gratitude is something that is too easy to lose as we measure what we have against what others possess.
To be grateful is to be appreciative of what you have received. Yet how often do we look at full tables and healthy kids and yearn for more?
Instead we need to recognize the beauty and bounty of our lives for the abundance that it is.
In our little corner of the world, we are surrounded by the natural majesty of forests, mountains and rivers that do more than provide us a breathtaking backdrop. They allowed us to carve our communities.
We can show our gratitude by honoring and protecting them in return.
In Pennsylvania, a new kind of society was born when rebels gathered together and said in one voice that injustice would not be tolerated. And then they signed their names, not knowing if that meant a place in history or in a hangman’s noose.
We can show our gratitude by taking our simplest and yet most important declaration — our vote — as seriously as they took their stand against a king.
In America, we have long touted our crazy-quilt construction of a nation from the people and cultures and languages of the many different groups who came here — from Jamestown to Ellis Island — as well as those who already called this new world home and those who were brought here by force.
We can show our gratitude for these human puzzle pieces that make up the mosaic of our country by appreciating the unique attributes each brings to the picture rather than jockeying for position.
Thanksgiving — with a capital T — is more than a day when we come together and share a meal. It needs to be the day that we look at the things we have in our lives, our communities and our nation, reach out our hands to one another and say “Thank you.”