Finding the ‘Thanks’ in Thanksgiving

This past year I have learned so much more about gratitude than I ever thought was possible.

After volunteering and meeting people who only had what they could carry on their backs, I realized how much I had and how I should be thankful for it. I have friends now that have lost family members, friends, and their homes and are now living on the street as refugees. I saw the joy they showed for just being alive and having their family members with them. Although they had lost almost everything they owned, they still showed gratitude and I have learned so much from them about what is truly important in life.

So this year Thanksgiving has a completely different meaning to me. I am going to try and focus on the true meaning of gratitude and I invite you to do the same. When we give thanks we show true appreciation for something we have or a person we love. When we say the simple “thank you” to someone, we are showing that person we care about them.  For me, even a simple “thank you” from a stranger brightens up  my day.

Think about somebody you say “thank you” to often and they say “thank you” back… If those “thanks” disappeared, would you feel a bit sad and unappreciated? Probably.

” We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.” Fredrick Koenig

Another variable to the equation is the ungratefulness. The way we all want what someone else has, even if we have almost the same thing. We are always looking up and around for something bigger and better, than just looking down and realizing the mountain of stuff we have already accumulated. From now on, we should all think about every little thing we have – and think about it for a while.

” Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you do not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”  Epicurus

An easier way? Look around the room. Think about every little thing you look at. How does that item help you? What would you do without it? Or try this: count the objects you own. The number is probably pretty high for many of us. You have a lot, and maybe appreciate those before you go buy new ones. When you really start to think about the answers to these questions, you realize how much you already have.

So this Thanksgiving, when it’s your turn to stand up in front of your family and friends and say what you are thankful for, maybe don’t go with the usual thing everyone else says. Instead of worrying about saying something unique, witty, or funny, say something from your heart. Be truly grateful and say what you really appreciate in your life. Show that you care about everyone and you realize everything they have done for you.

In the end, people will remember you by the way you appreciated them, not by your talents, or your achievements.

So to finish off, guess what I am going to say??


Happy Thanksgiving!

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  • Teresa
    November 26, 2015 at 6:15 pm

    Thank you for being such a caring and giving young lady! Happy Thanksgiving…

    • Travelin' Kait
      November 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Happy Thanksgiving to you too!! 🙂

  • GP Cox
    November 27, 2015 at 4:02 am

    Great post!
    From Pacific Paratrooper___

  • Richard Schulte
    November 27, 2015 at 5:38 am

    Saying a simple “thank you” is an act of humility and unselfishness. I know a good many people who don’t have it in themselves to say “thank you”. They also happen to be the people who smile the least.

    • Travelin' Kait
      November 27, 2015 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Richard. So true! Smiling and showing humility and gratitude make the world a positive and happy place! My parents taught me from young age that as a traveler and a global citizen, I must always remember to express kindness and graciousness to everyone we meet. 🙂