A Thankful Thanksgiving
I love Thanksgiving! Not because of the football, or the parades, the food (though tasty) or even the impending door buster sales that will ensue immediately after you’ve pushed the plate away and loosened your belt a bit. I love it because it’s simple. It’s about being grateful for what you have and being alive! It almost sounds too simple, but it’s something we often forget to do the other 364 days a year, and this day comes along and reminds us. I suppose I could put a reminder in the calendar with an alarm that pops up and says “Be grateful, and thankful today” with the hopes of having the same effect...but it wouldn’t work. What makes Thanksgiving so special (in the U.S.) is we’re all in it together, it’s this collective “thanks” in Thanksgiving that makes it special and I think more so this year! It’s been a horrible year all around for obvious reasons that I don’t need to recount here. We’ve all been struggling. Some colleagues have lost their jobs, others have lost family members, we’ve all become more isolated and forever changed by COVID-19.
In my house as a child, we had a tradition that we did just before we ate, when we would go around the table and say what we were thankful for. It was a lovely tradition and a good way to let your brother know that you loved him even when you wouldn’t say it out loud...but would say “I’m thankful for Jack”. I still do this today with my own family and I’m thankful for them everyday! Truthfully, I have so many blessings in my life, that it’s hard to call just one out. I’m grateful for my healthy children, a supportive partner, my own good health and my ability to support all of them. I’m grateful for all of my friends, colleagues and professional acquaintances. In short, I’m thankful for everything! But this year I have one extra thing to add to my list, I’m thankful to the over 75 member companies and dozens of individual members who have trusted me with their industry so that we may lead it to a brave new world. The enthusiasm, the love, the excitement is overwhelming. My gratitude is overflowing and I cannot wait to be with all of you after COVID-19 is over and celebrate together in the most thankful of Thanksgivings (even if it’s not November).
The story of Thanksgiving in the U.S. goes like this. The earliest Pilgrim settlers had the absolutely worst possible start in the New World. In the winter of 1620, they lost about 45% of their population to scurvy, starvation and exposure. I imagine morale was similarly low then as it is today. Imagine having survived that time, the bitter cold of a New England winter, the scarcity of food and shelter and the loss of friends and family. Imagine how thankful you’d be...hopefully it’s not hard for you because you're living through it now in a way. I hope that like the Pilgrims, you will celebrate your life today, be thankful for your loved ones both living and gone and look forward to a prosperous future where these difficult times only serve to remind us of how lucky we are and how thankful we should be!