As we are now in the holiday season, I think it is an especially important time to reflect on being thankful for everything that we have. Thanksgiving was just last week, but I don’t think I really thought about ALL of the things that I am thankful for. Now of course I answered the traditional question, “What are you thankful for?” several times, but my answer was always the generic, “I am thankful for my family and friends.” I am very thankful and blessed to have all of my family and friends in my life, but there are a ton of other things that I am thankful for that I always take for granted. I have a house to live in, I have a bed to sleep in, I have have clothes to keep me warm, and I am healthy and alive. The list could go on and on.
I complain about almost everything. Every morning, I complain that I don’t have anything to wear when my closet is full of clothes. Every day after school, I complain about having a huge load of homework when I should be thankful that I have the opportunity to learn. Every night, I complain about being hungry or thirsty when I have access to fresh food and clean water. I have so much more than so many people, yet I complain, each and every day, that I don’t have enough, when the truth is that I have more than I could ever need.
In A Tale of Two Cities, there is a scene where a cask of wine is dropped and broken in the street. A group of people crowd around the spilled wine, consuming every last drop, until there is nothing left. The people are so hungry and desperate that mothers are soaking their handkerchiefs in the wine and are squeezing every last drop of the liquid into their babies mouths.
This scene reminds me that I should be thankful because I am not fighting to live. I shouldn’t be complaining about my needs when so many other people are in need. This holiday season I challenge every one of you to just simply reflect on all of the things that you have, and give to someone in need. The holidays aren’t just about stuffing our bellies with food and receiving gifts, but it is about giving the gift of hope, joy, and love to others.