Another holiday season begins and another year draws slowly to a close.
Nations often set aside an end-of-year reflection to encourage their people to look back on whence they came in order to better glimpse where they are going.
Thanksgiving begins this period for us in the United States. Admittedly, given the capitalist conspicuous consumption that surrounds this holiday there is something ironic about it all. We are asked to over-eat and to count up the things for which we are thankful… accounting for our “thanks” the way we make the lists for the binge buying that so many will do on Black Friday or Cyber Monday.
But I want to discourage each of us from being thankful in a list making sort of way. Or of passing along to friends or families some kind of “thank you” that comes with a too easy “oh, how thankful I am for you.”
I want to discourage this behavior because thanks-giving should not be an easy thing. Thanks-giving should not be a quick thing. Thanks-giving should not be a “by the way” thing.
In the ancient days, think and thank were the same word–‘tong”, the Indo-European root for feel. So giving thanks should be something done thought-fully–from thinking at length upon the things that help you make sense of the world.
Being thank-full means embracing how you think fully about your whole life and all of your concerns. Hold yourself free of the rush of the everyday, reflect on where you find yourself, feel your living: joyous, painful, bland…
**FEEL** your living. Pleasant, unpleasant, neutral.
Fully thanking as thinking fully.
Experience how you care about the world, about others, about your own being. And evaluate how open you are for the world, for others, and even for your own being.
Either giving thanks is a gifting-of-thinking to each other or it is merely thoughtless behavior, a silence made of empty words.