Simple Thanksgiving Day Reflections

            It’s hard for me to write anything today without sounding trite or cliché, but bear with me for a minute as I put my spin on this Thanksgiving Day.


Thanksgiving Day is a holiday set aside on our nation’s calendar for looking back and giving thanks.  As you’re well aware, it has traditionally become a day of overeating and watching football.  We’ve made a mockery of the origins of the day.  When it’s brought to mind at all, we look back on what now seems like a mythical setting of early pilgrims sitting down to share a feast with American Indians, but we overlook the obvious.  That day in 1621, traditionally thought of as the first Thanksgiving, celebrated survival.  Many colonists had died.  Times were hard.  There were many difficulties starting the new colony.  Nonetheless, there was food and a relationship with the Indians that caused them to partake of it together.


            Today the economic downturn has affected many of us dramatically.  Others of us are increasingly anxious about what might happen.  In either case, it has caused some to do a good bit of rethinking, even about survival by one means or another.  It’s putting us in a different and perhaps unfamiliar state of mind.


            Several years ago I read a book on coping with anxiety and depression in which the author emphasized what he called “Thank You Therapy.”  As a Christian, he believed in the power of prayer, but prayer with a focus on thankfulness.  Instead of asking God for help or mercy in a certain situation, he told his readers to thank God for His help and mercy.  This made a lot of sense to me.  I’ve practiced it, at least when I remember, and it’s very uplifting.


            I’m reminded of an old man who told me, “Every morning I wake up and open my eyes, I thank the Lord for one more day.”  It doesn’t get any more basic than that.  I’ve heard many similar thoughts expressed by older family members, some of whom were either born during the Great Depression of the 1930’s or who lived through that entire era.  They knew the value of simple possessions and the things we take for granted with our attitude of superiority.  Nobody said things like, “Clean up your plate.  There are kids in China starving who would be glad to have it.”  They didn’t have to say it, but they conveyed the preciousness of the meal.  The message was clear.  A great deal of work had been done to provide it.


            My own household is feeling an economic crunch for reasons I won’t detail here, and I’m keenly aware of the value of everyday things.  For example, on a cold morning I’m thankful for a working furnace, even if we are keeping the thermostat set lower than last year.  I’m thankful for running water.  A water pipe behind the shower burst a few weeks back, causing us to do without running water in the house for a couple of days.  I’m thankful that recent car trouble didn’t require anything more than replacing the battery.  I could go on, but you get the idea.


            Oh, yes.  Of course, I’m thankful you took a little time to read this blog post and look at DestinySurvival today.


            Now take a minute to count your blessings today and practice a little Thank You Therapy.  It transcends the holiday on the calendar and could be a valuable mental asset for survival.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.