Rev. Suzanne Marlatt Stewart

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.”—W.J. Cameron. Before the Thanksgiving dinner we give thanks for the richness of our lives and for our wonderful family and friends. For too many people, however, the meaning of Thanksgiving ends with spending a few moments giving thanks at the dinner table. The true meaning of Thanksgiving, however, does not need to end after a prayer or a few seconds of meditation devoted to thanks. The holiday of Thanksgiving has a wider significance.

Thanksgiving is also a call to action. It is important for us to remember that the word thanksgiving is composed of two words: thanks, and giving. This Thanksgiving day, take a moment and reflect on what actions you can take in the next year to fully express the meaning of Thanksgiving. Think of a way to free up some time each week so that you can give that time to someone in need or volunteer for a worthy cause. What would you do during that time? By giving of your time and talent you are acknowledging that there is abundance in your life. As you sit down to dinner this Thanksgiving, spend a few moments giving thanks. Also, share with your family and friends what actions you will take in the next year to fully express the meaning of Thanksgiving. One does not have to look very far to realize how blessed we are to live in our community. There are so many opportunities to share your gifts and talents to help others.

Following are some great quotes of gratitude and abundance.

“We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.”—John F. Kennedy

“Be thankful for what you have; you’ll end up having more.”—Oprah Winfrey

“Gratitude can transform common days into thanksgivings, turn routine jobs into joy, and change ordinary opportunities into blessings.”—William Arthur Ward

“If you are thankful, what do you do? You share.”—W. Clement Stone

“We should certainly count our blessings, but we should also make our blessings count.”—Neal A. Maxwell

“Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.”—William Arthur Ward

“Gratitude is the healthiest of all human emotions. The more you express gratitude for what you have, the more likely you will have even more to express gratitude for.”—Zig Ziglar

“May your stuffing be tasty. May your turkey be plump, may your potatoes and gravy have nary a lump. May your yams be delicious, and your pies take the prize, and may your Thanksgiving dinner stay off your thighs.”—Unknown

Enjoy your holiday, whatever you choose to do, and may the true meaning of Thanksgiving continue in the year ahead.

Rev. Suzanne, a resident of SaddleBrooke, is an independent writer and speaker. She was ordained nondenominational in 1988, representing all faiths, her focus is “inclusivity.” Email her at [email protected].