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Being thankful

If you are reading this, it means you are alive. Is there a roof over your head? Are you wearing clothes? Did you eat or drink anything in the past three hours? If you are alive and answered yes to the other three questions, you have things to be thankful for. You are clothed, fed, and have a place to live. 

Canadians have varying levels of observance when it comes to Thanksgiving. We cannot relate as easily to American myths of pilgrims and Indigenous people happily eating a giant outdoor meal. Yet, we have a tremendous amount to be thankful for. 

Two weeks ago, Canadians voted in a federal election. It is true the results changed little, but the fact Canadians could freely vote and have a selection of multiple candidates and parties indicates freedom we can be thankful for. The fact the election and every other issue in the news can be covered by multiple outlets under different ownership indicates freedom of the press, for which we can be thankful. 

Family and friends are things we can be thankful for. There are no perfect families or friendships, because humans are involved, but wouldn’t you rather have a few flawed relatives and friends than none at all? There is a good chance our imperfect family and friends also see our flaws, but are thankful for us anyway. The same argument applies to jobs and coworkers. 

Thanksgiving has religious themes for many people, but one does not have to be religious to be thankful. Appreciating the world around us, no matter how – or who – we think made it, is all that matters. Being thankful for the Earth and how it sustains life is an incentive to look after it. so it can continue to do so.  

Nothing is entirely perfec. We all have complaints about business, government, health, work, and family life, but being thankful for the good parts of those things makes it easier to work to improve what we wish was different.  

Unfortunately, there are people suffering without adequate food, housing, and employment. We are fortunate to have thoughtful citizens in our communities who do what they can to help others.

Activists who organize and appear at council meetings, service clubs, churches, food banks, and fundraisers are all examples of people who want to do better for other people. They do these things because they are thankful for what they have and want to share with others. We should be thankful for these people and organizations because of the good they do in our community. Stop and consider that the people who benefit from organizing and fundraising are probably thankful for what they receive. 

Turkey and pumpkin pie are the flavours of Thanksgiving. Being thankful is actually the reason for Thanksgiving.  

James Morgan

James Morgan is a freelance contributor. He has worked for several print and broadcast media outlets. James loves the history, natural beauty, and people of eastern Ontario and western Quebec.

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