Did you know Thanksgiving was created to celebrate having ‘enough’? Bear with me here as we have a short history lesson-
In 1621, after the first long winter in Plymouth and subsequent success of learning to grow corn (taught to them by Squanto), the colonists and the Wampanoag Indians celebrated the harvest by having a three-day festival, which included a banquet. The next Thanksgiving celebration was held two years later in 1623, after the colonists endured a severe drought which they thought was going to ruin their crops, but didn’t. After these two successes, many of the colonies instituted a yearly day of fasting and Thanksgiving. They were grateful they would have enough food to survive the coming winter.
Looking back in history, we can see that many people were minimalists because they literally had no choice. They were fortunate if they had enough of anything, especially food. Today, the majority of us are certainly blessed to have more than enough; in fact, we have so much there is a need for a minimalist movement! What would the original colonists think of that, I wonder? While they were happy with having enough corn for the winter, our view of what ‘enough’ means is certainly skewed and many times out-of-balance with what enough really is.
While gratitude is something I strive to work on having everyday, this year on Thanksgiving, I am going to try to better honor the original colonist’s gratitude of having enough, by pondering on the thoughts-
-I have enough because I have family and friends I love, and they love me.
-I have enough because my home is full of healthy, good food to eat.
-I have enough because I have a home that protects me from the elements.
-I have enough because I have conveniences like a washing machine and a phone.
-I have enough because I do not have to work from sun up to sun down to survive.
-I have enough because all of my children and myself survived childbirth.
-I have enough because I try to see the good even in the darkest parts of life.
-I have enough because I choose to be happy.
-I have enough because I have decided I have enough.
Each of us must decide what ‘enough’ means in our lives, but hopefully we can all recognize the simplicity of what that really is. Tecumseh, a Native American chief was profound when he said these words-
When you rise in the morning, give thanks for the light, for your life, for your strength. Give thanks for your food and for the joy of living. If you see no reason to give thanks, the fault lies in yourself.
Wishing everyone a wonderful Thanksgiving and a hope that we can all see the ‘enough’ in our own lives.