Well, first off, it is true. The Daily Sprout is back after a LONG hiatus, and it will hopefully return to its old days of glory, where we produced three posts a week, online and in office... with more readership then than we ever thought, and more than we had hoped. We kept this trend alive for a decade or more, but the uncertainty of how best to disseminate it for the best impact seemed to kill the value of the blog post. Now, with what seems to be the most incredible "upheaval" of our trust in how life will be tomorrow, the need for ongoing communication that touches on the essence of health is needed.
So with that, let me get to the business of writing about Thanksgiving! For those who have been with me for a decade or more, you might recall that I have always enjoyed writing an article around this time, with a focus on how important it is not only to give Thanks, but to also share in that Thankfulness with family, or in lieu of such... your friends. I am in Williamsburg VA right now; a part of our country that simply "feels" Thanksgiving. The town which is an ongoing depiction of life in Virginia from the 1690's to approximately 1780, evokes a feeling of life with risk, of life that is absent of ease, and one that shows the rewards of hard work, struggle to couple the wisdom needed to know what is right, with the youth and willingness to fight for it. Yet at the same time, a life which has begun to afford opportunity to those hard workers to rely on man's advances in farming and in construction.
Basically, being here is like seeing a glimpse of the new world that is to come, while still hitched to the old one. I am ever thankful for this lesson, the lesson that hard work is rewarded, and entitlement has no place in our world. The men and women who came to our country turned their backs on notions of entitlement, and they ran into the arms of the unknown. And while this town was very loyal to the crown through much of the debate that led up to the revolution, it was also a town that was paramount in supporting the revolutionary effort as the largest and wealthiest colony at the time.
This is my fourth Thanksgiving here with my family, the last came five years ago, and the first nearly five years before that. We all have found value in the story of this town, but furthermore, we have found an opportunity for the four of us to feel equally enamored by different individual components. For one it is the nod to nature that this town gives through its gardens and the open yards with massive old trees as their king. For another it is the necessity of man and animal to work together, and for my wife and I we find ourselves appreciating the architecture (especially that of the college of William and Mary which was founded in 1693), and the intelligence mixed with artistry that went into the design of it. The four of us will walk down the cobblestone lined streets talking away about our life, plans that are yet to come, and those things that we have already done, and all along the story of this town and the things we love about it are woven in. And is this not what Thanksgiving is about? I convinced my wife to trust me in my desire to travel for Thanksgiving... not to family, not away from family... but with family to another place. I am not saying that you need to leave in order to get the value of Thanksgiving. Many of you, rather, most of you, will be around quite a few people on Thanksgiving, and you will share your time with them, and the opportunity to cherish those around you in "Thanks" will happen. What I am saying is that when you take this idea of giving thanks for all that we are blessed for, and I really hope you can compare yourself to the average third world person while doing this, and if you couple this with a catalyst that in itself is something to be thankful for, it really helps you get down to the depths of gratitude.
So what I would like you to do this Thanksgiving, is to first evaluate your plans to determine if they are everything they need to be... all by themselves with no alteration, you already expect to be so warm in the heart, and so very thankful that you could see yourself kissing the dirt beneath your feet. OR... if that is not where you anticipate yourself hanging out this year, consider what it would take to warm the essence of your soul with gratitude. I would imagine for many of you it would take little more than pulling away for a walk with those who you really care about. But you might realize that the backdrop is not all that you hope for when you have layered in hours of labor for the meal, or discomfort with the company. If so, perhaps the day before or the day after are where you will extract joy (and hopefully not pain because you plan on shopping, and deep down you actually really hate it). I hope I don't cause trouble for you by creating a dichotomy in the household, but I really do hope that my words will make you considerate of pursuing a week of thanks this year and every year to come. If we don't evaluate our traditions for there ability to give back to us and those we love and hope to honor (this is why we have these in the first place), then we are wasting opportunities, and I dare say eroding our health.
Be well and Be blessed, and Happy Thanksgiving!
- Dr. Eric