We live in a culture that always wants more. More money, bigger house, greener lawn. Or better - better car, better nose, better job. And when we actually get there, we want different. Different job, different house, different appearance. Thanksgiving, leaving the controversy of its origins or validity aside, is one of those rare moments that make us stop and reflect on what we have, who we are and the people in our lives that matter and actually be thankful, recognizing the good in our lives.
It's that gratifying feeling that gets induced by such thoughts that make us get off the "What's next" train. In some ways, I think it makes us a better version of ourselves, if only for a little bit.
As someone who didn't celebrate Thanksgiving growing up in Israel at a secular Jewish home, it is an interesting mental exercise. Regretfully, it doesn't come naturally, and I am sure I would be better off if it did. Forcing myself to think about it, to count my blessings so to speak, makes all kinds of petty worries and stresses melt away. Yes, they'll be back, but maybe this time I can drag this intoxication of understanding, really being conscious about the things that truly matter, a little more. Maybe we all can.
So what am I thankful for? Countless things. My parents, which at 89 and 72 are healthy and an inspiration of perseverance, level headedness and set an example of how it is always possible to start something new. My wonderful wife that agreed to flying half way across the world with 5 month old twins for a work opportunity, my 3 kids, each an amazing person in his own right, each challenging in fascinating ways. Of course, no joy or sorrow would be the same without my friends. Good friends are those that aren't accountants of when you called or gave them something - they enhance you by giving from themselves.
I'm also thankful for our planet. Seriously, what an amazing place to live on – where animals are still being discovered and the unquenchable thirst for knowledge shows us every day, month and year how much we still need to learn.
Finally, thank you for reading these lines and allowing me to connect and possibly enhance your life, even just a little.