As I sit at my computer to write this week’s article on the topic of Thanksgiving, I am eating a Sees chocolate – it is a white Apple Pie Truffle. It is delicious, and I am thankful. Yum!
I am grateful for the sweet, smooth, decadent filling plus the beautifully dipped chocolate melting on my tongue. I am thankful for the anticipation of pure delight as the perfect treat entices my eyes and teases my taste buds.
It is rather shallow on my part to be thankful only for the sweet candy confection I savor. If I am genuinely grateful for the 180+ empty-calorie indulgence, I would think beyond my pleasure. I would remember the farmers who raised the cocoa beans and sugar, Mary See’s recipes who inspired her son Charles to open their first shop in 1921, the engineers who designed machinery for the candy maker, the people who work the assembly lines to produce a flawless product, and the store employees who smile and offer free samples.
It is essential to scan our lives and identify what we value, but it is additionally vital to acknowledge more than the obvious; to expand our thankfulness from what is visible and tangible to history and the individuals who made it happen.
Thinking about thankfulness contributes to good mental health. If we fill our brains with what we consider positive, there is less room for pain and problems. It does not mean we do not have difficulties and challenges, but they lack space or nourishment to flourish and dominate.
Thanksgiving was not designated in 1863 by President Lincoln, so we could stuff ourselves as we enjoy friends, family, and football; those are traditional perks. The holiday is intended for humble reflection and genuine thankfulness. I am going to wake up on Thanksgiving morning, and before I start my day, write a gratitude list of at least 100 people, places, and things. You, my readers, will be on my list, for sure. Why don’t you do the same? It can’t take long, and it could be fun.
As with the Apple Pie Truffle, expand your thankfulness. Remember the years of research and development, and the people involved for you to enjoy the turkey, cranberries, and pumpkin pie.
Happy Thanksgiving, and may we include more than the obvious, especially the farmer, as we close our eyes and bow our heads.
Until the next time: Live while you live.
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