Thanksgiving 2011

So in lieu of the Thanksgiving and the fact that every blog writes about what we all should be thankful for, I think it would do BreakingNorms an injustice if I were to follow suit.  After all, this blog is about steering away from the status quo right?  So in light of that, we’re going to steer clear of talking about being thankful for the stereotypical items like “having three meals a day.”

Here’s the thing: Being thankful for things is a step towards the path of humility, which could lead to other beneficial attributes that are helpful to every person’s growth.  But if you ask me, simply giving thanks for our good fortunes (e.g., having food, a roof over our head, a clean bill of health, etc.) does not begin to cover even the tip of the iceberg.  Fact of the matter is that a lot of our good fortune tends to not be things we have control over (e.g., Parents who cook us a great meal).  I’m not saying we shouldn’t be thankful for these things and recognize that there are so many out there who lack even the basic means of survival, but the tradition of giving thanks for these stereotypical items seems to be empty gestures that are forgotten the other 364 days of the year.

So what do I propose?  Even though it is technically the day after Thanksgiving, I say forget those empty statements that almost every person (in developed countries) can rattle off without batting an eye.  Instead, go ahead and thank yourself for all that you’ve accomplished.  Thank yourself for pulling those all nighters to try and do better on the exam (although you probably should have been preparing ahead of time, you get props for at least trying).  Thank yourself for the hard work that you put into the things you care about.  Thank yourself for cultivating the friendships and relationships that you have.

After all, you are the ultimate cause of your achievements.  Your parents, relatives, and environment are all part of an equation you have no true control over, but the ultimate X factor that determines the actions and consequences that is your life is you.  I know that this seems like a complete reversal on the concept of humility, but it’s important that you recognize the degree of impact you can have on your own life.

So on this post-Thanksgiving day, here’s to you and the legacy that you will leave for the rest of the world.  Cheers.

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One response to “Thanksgiving 2011”

  1. Jo-z Schwartz says :

    Awesome post! It got me thinking about the whole concept of Thanksgiving Day—a day I used to be quite fond of (at least in theory). I still like that it’s a day to stop everything and give a cooperative effort to prepare a meal for the whole family and friends to share and reflect on what each of us are thankful for.

    After reading your post, however, I looked at the gluttonous holiday from a different angle. Specifically the line with the phrase “…empty gestures that are forgotten the other 364 days of the year,” struck a nerve. I too see nothing wrong with reflection on the things we are grateful for, but there is something seemingly wrong about just doing that.

    Thinking about all that a person is grateful for always includes thinking of those whom haven’t gotten the opportunities and things as you have. I think it’s wrong to think about all of those people and then do nothing (or very little) to help others the other 364 days.

    In short: give thanks on Thanksgiving Day, then, break the norm and give back some during the other 364.

    Again, nice post!

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