“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson
In September of 1620, the Mayflower left Plymouth, England with 102 passengers and set sail for the New World. These Pilgrims were in search of religious freedom – and they were promised land-ownership and prosperity for their efforts. The journey lasted 66 days before landing near Cape Cod. One month later, they crossed the Massachusetts Bay and began establishing the Plymouth Colony. The first winter, most of the Pilgrims chose to stay aboard the ship – but this offered little relief from exposure, disease, and a dwindling food supply. By March, many had moved ashore, and eventually befriended members of the Wampanoag Tribe. The Native Americans taught the Pilgrims how to grow crops, hunt, and build shelter. In November of 1621, after a successful first harvest, Governor William Bradford declared a celebration of Thanksgiving. The feast lasted for three days – and although it did not include many of the traditional dishes we serve today, the purpose of the event set the foundation for the holiday we celebrate in modern times. In 1883, Abraham Lincoln delivered the Thanksgiving Proclamation in an attempt to unify the country amidst the Civil War. In 1941, Franklin Delano Roosevelt passed a law, officially declaring that the fourth Thursday of November would be recognized as Thanksgiving – a National Holiday.
While most of this history is well-known, I think that it is also easily overlooked. We should be grateful that we live in a country that values each citizen’s rights to religion, speech, education, and prosperity. Even during times of war, financial depression, tragedy and uncertainty about the future, Americans are still called to set aside time to acknowledge all that they do have. We are given a day to focus on all that has led us to this point – and to celebrate family, togetherness, and the value of passing on a timeless legacy. Thanksgiving is an entire season dedicated to reminding us what it means to be human. Regardless of our welfare or social status, we are called to be thankful – and to give of ourselves to others selflessly.
The only danger in dedicating one day to be thankful and give to those less fortunate – is that it implies that we can only express thanks and thoughtfulness during that one holiday, once a year. The reality is – gratitude significantly magnifies our experience of life, and opens our minds to the opportunity to learn and comprehend on a deeper level. It also helps us to endure the difficult chapters of life with grace, integrity – and even a sense of humor. Being thankful – especially for the little things – opens us to see the beauty of living that surrounds us every day.
So this Thanksgiving, take the time to teach your children about the history of the holiday – and put together a plan for how you can incorporate gratitude into your daily life. Guide your family members to look for ways to bring people together throughout the year – to connect with them, invest in them, and find out how to contribute to their well-being. Encourage one another to use your gifts and abilities to show appreciation. Live everyday knowing that even the obstacles are leading you somewhere you are meant to be.
At Triumph Tutoring, Inc., we are grateful for each and every one of our clients, tutors and staff members who are dedicated to unlock the potential within themselves and within each student. We are proud to offer services that directly pertain to each individual’s ability level and needs. We would love to get to know your story – and find out how we can help enrich your/your child’s learning experience.
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