Thanksgiving 2012
November 21, 2012 by Kay Grossman

I have a story I’d like to share with you for Thanksgiving…


The speaker began his presentation in the usual way. He thanked the host for the kind introduction and the conference organizers for inviting him. Very nice. Fully expected.

But then he continued to thank people. He thanked the pilot for safely flying him across the country and for being well-trained and well-rested. He thanked the mechanics for their competence and care in preparing the plane for flight. He thanked the engineers and fabricators for constructing an air-worthy vessel. He expressed gratitude for the people responsible for making his hotel room comfortable and for the people who greeted him with smiles as he walked down the hall to the meeting room.

He continued in this fashion for what seemed a very long time.

His long recitation of thankfulness first struck me as slightly odd and a bit humorous but became compelling and beautiful as the list grew. I realized that there are far too many things I take for granted, and that it is my loss.

The speaker went on to explain that to live a life of gratitude is to open our eyes to the countless ways in which we are cared for and supported by the world around us. The strongest take-away message for me was that expressing gratitude shifts our attention to reality and reveals what has been there all along.

The speaker was Gregg Krech, a psychologist who specializes in cultivating the art of gratitude. He is the founder of the To-Do (rhymes with go-go) Institute and author of several books. He includes a reflection of gratitude in his book Naikan: Gratitude, and the Japanese Art of Self-Reflection.

I’ve paraphrased and added to Gregg’s reflection to make it more my own, and I plan to read it aloud prior to eating our Thanksgiving meal. I invite you, too, to write your own version, or to use mine if it speaks to you.

I wish you and your loved ones an abundance of hope, peace, and gratitude as you celebrate this holiday season.


Thanksgiving Blessing
Modified by Kay Grossman
(I thank Gregg Krech for writing the original version of this reflection.)

We give thanks for the food that gives us life and for the plants and animals that help sustain us.

We give thanks for the cars and planes and roads that allow us to be together on this day.

We give thanks for the health of our bodies.

We give thanks for the shelter that keeps us warm and dry.

We give thanks to our parents who brought us into this world.

We give thanks for the care and support we receive from our family, friends, and community.

We give thanks for our beating hearts and sentient brains.

We give thanks for our ability to choose our perspectives.

We give thanks for our ability to feel gratitude, optimism, and love.

We give thanks for both giving and receiving blessings.

We vow to live each day fully, to see reality as it is, and to live our life with purpose.

»  Substance:WordPress   »  Style:Ahren Ahimsa
(Adapted from Ahren Code's "Ahimsa" WordPress theme >>)