This is Thanksgiving weekend here in Canada and its origins date back to the indigenous peoples, who celebrated the harvest with festivals and feasting. However, the first official Thanksgiving is credited to an explorer named Martin Frobisher, in Newfoundland in 1578. Frobisher was an explorer and he and his crew attempted to find the Northwest Passage, by going through the Arctic, but they got lost. When they made it back safely, he and his crew held a feast to celebrate. This has become known as the first official Canadian Thanksgiving.
Regardless of its origin, or whether or not you like turkey, Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on our blessings. It’s a time for gratitude. It’s easy to focus on what we lack or what we hope to have in the future. It is also very easy to take for granted what we already have. Easier still is falling into the comparison trap. That is, thinking that because someone else has something we don’t, we therefore don’t have enough. There will always be those with more than us and in the same way there will always be those with less than we have. No matter our station in life, there is always something to be grateful for.
Living a life of gratitude increases joy and results in more abundance. I think it’s easy to take the little things for granted, making it really easy for us to grumble. But, if you stop and think about everything from the moment you wake up to when you go to sleep, there are lots of little things that you can give thanks for. Simple things like fresh air, for example. We often don’t realize how ungrateful we are until what we do have is taken away. When it is gone is usually when we realize its value.
This Thanksgiving, let us remember to take the time to be grateful for the big things and little things too. We should even be thankful for the closed doors – the things that didn’t go the way we wanted them to. Often those seeming disappointments were blessings in disguise and they saved us from something that was not good for us. My grandmother used to say, “every disappointment is for good.” With that knowledge, we can be grateful for those experiences as well.
Happy Thanksgiving Canada.