My First Thanksgiving Blog

I have been writing blogs for months now, and it might be easy for readers to assume that I only write about serious subjects. After all, I feel that it’s my duty to bring attention to important topics that demand scrutiny and to seek aid for those who are mistreated.

tt40.jpgThis week is different. This week leads us to Thanksgiving Day, and I’d like to suggest that we do exactly that: Offer thanks and perform some giving.

While I often write blogs about issues we should confront, I’m also mindful of the blessings we have as a nation, as a people and for me, at a very personal level. Indeed, given the circumstances surrounding the recent events of the Michael Brown case in Ferguson, this might be a moment to consider that in an imperfect world, we still must find some room for thanks.

Today, I’m thankful for a bountiful life, and I’m especially thankful for

  • My family which strengthens me
  • My faith which guides me
  • My job which allows me to give a voice to those who feel no one listens to them

However, while we should be thankful today, let us NOT forget the giving part. After all, it is THANKS GIVING. Let’s use this time of year to give and make a positive impact on the lives of our neighbors.

I have a friend who received a shopping bag from his church. Stapled to the bag was a note requesting five items and a frozen turkey. He filled the bag and returned it to the church, which took it to a local food bank. I'm sure that as he sits down to Thanksgiving dinner, he will have much for which to be thankful. But even if he forgot his act of giving, some family in this county will also have a reason for being thankful because of that gesture.

And no act is too small or meaningless, whether it’s a phone call, a smile or a simple wave of the hand. All these thoughtful acts can be as appreciated as a frozen turkey, just not as nourishing.

If you’re having an earlier dinner today because of the Eagles game (Sidebar: Go Birds!), maybe you can invite a neighbor or friend who is alone to share your meal.

I was told a story once about a lady who discussed why Thanksgiving was her favorite holiday. She said: “How can you be against Thanksgiving? We all celebrate it, we only give thanks and no one cares what religion you practice, what you look like or what other holidays you might or might not celebrate. Thanksgiving belongs to ALL of us. It can’t possibly offend anyone. And everyone has something to be thankful for, no matter who we are. That’s why I love Thanksgiving.”

Now how do you disagree with that?

From my family to yours, a hearty and Happy Thanks+Giving.


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  • commented 2014-11-26 14:15:14 -0500
    Happy Thanksgiving, Troy, to you, your family and staff. Thank you for all you do for Burlington County. = Stacy Kasse NEA/NJEA/BCEA/MEA