/There’s always room for thanks

There’s always room for thanks

By Darren Lum

Thanksgiving was on Monday, Oct. 10 and is past now, but I wish it was more than one day.
Well, not the day so much as the feeling felt.
Why put a limit on being thankful?
It’s more than a nice thing for people to wish a “Happy Thanksgiving.” It’s the right thing to do in a world where a war continues to be waged in Ukraine, where we are enduring rising prices of everything, where recession is on the horizon, and where we are all still figuring out how to live and interact with each other in a post-pandemic world.

However, imagine if we were open to the idea of saying “Happy Thanksgiving” separate from the holiday?
I compare it to around Christmas or even a short time after when people typically wish others “Happy New Year!” I know it makes me feel good when someone wishes me a “good” or “merry” any day.
I imagine it makes others feel good to not just hear it, but to say it, particularly when it elicits a smile and a reciprocated reply of “thank you” or a repeat of whatever greeting.
Helen Keller, the American author and educator who was blind and deaf said, “The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched – they must be felt with the heart.”
The heart.
We all have one. Sometimes I think we just need to open it up more and tap into it to unleash the kindness that can be dormant. I think this happens with the seasonal greetings such as “Happy Thanksgiving” and “Happy New Years!”
Of course none of this could happen and the world go on.
Just as it always has where everyone waits for the particular season or holiday to tell people (what is essentially an action) they care.
I’m sure that’s what will happen. This editorial has some reach, but I recognize there are limits with circulation and its popularity.

But I can imagine. Hmmm …

Perhaps the feeling between people after an interaction of seasonal greetings wouldn’t be as good if it was all the time? But maybe, maybe, the good feeling would always be felt, and maybe, just maybe, the good feeling I write about would be catalyst for other positive feelings, which could lead to other actions to show gratitude for loved ones and, particularly, strangers.
Imagine how great our world would be if we did that. Maybe the empty statements we pay each other (as the go-to phrases during brief interactions with strangers and acquaintances) wouldn’t be so empty if we felt the value of such actions were authentic and spoke from the heart instead of the mind.
It could become an insignificant action, which is part of a collection of actions on any given day and we end up not putting the intention of heart behind them.

And then …
Maybe it leads to a more positive place for everyone, particularly those that wouldn’t otherwise hear anything positive in any other context.
What a better place it could be.
I challenge you to not just find the words to say, but ensure your heart is in it when you do extend the greeting or the message of gratitude.
After all, it doesn’t really cost us anything, but our time and the intention to care.
It’s within us all. It comes from the heart and it could mean so much to those in need of a shaft of light to illuminate what is otherwise a dark period someone is facing.
Bring the light for yourself and others.
I believe we can. Do you?