Dear Son: What being thankful says about you as a person.
It's almost Thanksgiving, 2018 and for many, the holidays are a time for reflection.
We take this time to look into the mirror of our lives and look back at what we experienced over the past year.
"Being thankful" isn't something that just happens, though. Thanksgiving doesn't automatically make us appreciate what we have or what we have lost.
This "Dear Son" letter is about our actual ability to reflect upon our lives and how that can change us. Are you able to reflect and be thankful?
A letter from a Dad to his sons about being thankful.
Reflecting on your life shouldn't happen just once a year.
This letter will flow, as I'm writing it real-time and I'm going to just hit "publish" when it's done. I think those "Dear Son" letters are the best.
They're honest and candid.
I'm sitting on our front porch with my coffee and laptop on a cool November morning. It's a Sunday. I'm reflecting, as I usually do on mornings like this.
I get my mornings to myself, before everyone else is awake. I get to be alone with my thoughts.
This morning I wasn't alone, though. Well, not completely.
There are neighbors across the street that are outside, doing chores.
They're a younger couple; maybe late 20's or early 30's. They don't have any children. At least I haven't seen any.
They're working together, but they're not. They're bickering at each other. The "husband" stands out to me, though. He's nasty to his wife.
He curses at her.
"Get off your fuckin' ass and do something." he said to her. I heard it with my own ears. She didn't respond.
Clearly, he doesn't appreciate her. He is taking her for granted. What does this lack of appreciate say about him? It's certainly not a positive reflection.
Next week is Thanksgiving. It's supposed to be a time where we stop and reflect upon what we're most thankful. But today's not Thanksgiving, so I guess he's not thankful today.
What does he value, if not her? What is important to him, if treating her with respect isn't one of those things? What does it say about him if he's not able to be thankful for her on average days like today?
The ability to be thankful is something we all have to grow into, to some extent.
Some people are born more thankful than others. Some people are raised more thankful than others, too. I suspect the way he's acting is what he grew up around.
It's important to me that you grow up around a family that's thankful more than just on Thanksgiving.
Maybe they're just not taking the time today to appreciate each other. Maybe they will later this week when it's our day of giving thanks. Maybe he'll be thankful for her on November 22nd.
But what about November 23rd?
Being thankful isn't something that comes once per year on the 4th Thursday in the month of November.
If that's the case, are we really thankful for what we have if it takes a day on our calendar to stop and reflect? Be thankful for what you have every day. Or, at least more often than once a year.