Thanksgiving. A time of gratitude and praise. As this year’s thanksgiving traditions come to a close, I have been given time to reflect on the traditions of thanksgiving and come to the realization that allowing such traditions or normalities to evolve is what brings upon better change. Without time’s essence, change would never be brought upon us and society would remain stagnant with outdated beliefs and core values. Living in the 21st century, our generation has the ability to look back on history and appreciate the course of events which shaped our ever-changing lives.

There is so much more to be thankful about than presents and material during Thanksgiving, universally known as the time to be grateful. Image by Manna.com

In 1621, the first Thanksgiving was celebrated by the pilgrims following their prosperous harvest of the year. They were able to cherish the crops they had tirelessly grew over the year and join together in the spirit of thankfulness. Over the 400 years of Thanksgiving traditions, we have made it a day for being universally thankful. To allow ourselves to appreciate all that we have in front of us; family, friends, opportunity, growth and more. People gather around a table unified with loved ones and are able to share their thanks. Thanksgiving is a wonderful occasion necessary to recognize the reality we tend to take for granted. But this is not the full story.

Upon looking into the origins of thanksgiving, I came across this article which was able to tell the stories of how ten nations across the world celebrate their own ‘Day of Thanks’ for their own reasons. For example, the Israeli people dedicate this day to the lives lost in the 40-year travel from slavery through Egypt, while Vietnam is able to recognize their youth as symbols of purity and potential. Interestingly enough, the citizens of Israel and Vietnam are not weathered by their differences in culture, tradition, appearance, lifestyle and status because the ability to be thankful has no borders. It doesn’t and shouldn’t take one to be given the world in order for them to be thankful, but the little that we all have and all that we share together. And the time to see this is now.

The time is now. I am sure many people have heard such a saying, yet no one quite understands the urgency in such a simple statement. Time is running out for thousands of people across the world. Our world is dying. Our people are suffering and being killed from wrongful violence. Overpowering figures have muffled our voices to push forward their agenda. The citizens of this globe are being divided through pressure and in hopes of protecting our own lives from becoming affected by the world’s chaos. This thanksgiving, I learned to not only be thankful for what I have, but to cherish what I take for granted that another might be in desperate need of. So many aspects of my life could be well appreciated in another’s, especially things such as security and food. So I propose, to anyone reading to think about one aspect of your life you could not live without. Take time out to learn about it, and recognize the need around the world. The land of opportunity does not have to be concentrated, it can be spread to all someday. And we can be the means of spreading this land; we can give others a reason to be thankful.

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