Neither Isis, nor I were born in the USA. Isis came to the U.S. as a young child and I as a young adult both fleeing Communist Cuba to legally come to the USA in search of freedom. We both learned very quickly what Thanksgiving and the spirit of gratitude really meant. For Isis back then, it meant being grateful to the nuns that took her in and cared for her while she waited for her parents to come from Cuba. For me, it meant being grateful to a school that opened its doors to me and gave me an Ivy League education.
I bet you didn’t know the origins of Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is a national holiday celebrated on various dates in the United States, Canada, Grenada, Saint Lucia, and Liberia. It began as a day of giving thanks and sacrifice for the blessing of the harvest and of the preceding year. Similarly named festival holidays occur in Germany and Japan. Americans generally believe that their Thanksgiving is modeled on a 1621 harvest feast shared by the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people.
In the fall of 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated their first successful harvest by firing guns and cannons in Plymouth, Massachusetts, while they shared food with the Wampanoag Indians. For meat, the Wampanoag brought deer, and the Pilgrims provided wild “fowl.” Strictly speaking, that “fowl” could have been turkeys, which were native to the area, but historians think it was probably ducks or geese.
Why do we eat pumpkin pies at Thanksgiving? Because they were readily available and follow traditions. The pumpkin pie is a symbol of the land and the cultivation of pumpkins and squashes by Native Americans.
This is such a precious day that just by the thought of it, it calms our nerves and fills our hearts with gratitude for all that is good in life. A grateful heart gives no resistance to the natural flow of grace and wonderful blessings which we have received. Thanksgiving is a day to truly feel grateful for all the precious things and people that we all are blessed to have in our lives.
Gratitude is a precious quality through which we can grow in every situation. There are three stages of gratitude.
- RECOGNITION: The first stage is to recognize that you have something or many things to be grateful for.
- ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: The second stage is that of gratitude and acknowledgment.
- APPRECIATION: The last stage is a feeling or expression of admiration, approval, or gratitude.
But without gratitude, even in perfectly favorable situations we cannot really progress. Grateful people experience the calmness, serenity, peace, and joy because they appreciate what they have without being too much worried about what they do not have.
The spirit of Thanksgiving is to appreciate the blessings we have in the present and look forward to future with optimistic consciousness. We can improve the quality of our life with a spirit of gratitude. We should encourage the spirit of gratitude in our children and young people so that they are not overwhelmed by the inevitable challenges that are a part of life.
When we are grateful, we can make a difference in society by spreading happiness and kind gestures because that is the essence of humanity.
From our family to yours, we are grateful for having known you. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!
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Isis B. Palicio, LUTCF, MBA
Pedro A. Palicio, MBA, Ph.D.
Infinite Banking Concepts® Authorized Practitioners
We are experts in designing high cash value dividend-paying whole life policies.