Giving thanks on Thanksgiving

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. I wonder how the many refugees who have been arriving in various parts of BC in recent months would respond to the question: For what are you grateful? How would you respond? Immigrants [such as I] may have been here for many years. We should also be remembering how lucky we are to live in Canada. Those born and raised here are perhaps the luckiest of all….especially if they take a few moments to get past the day-to-day ‘incoveniences’ and think about the ‘positives’.

It is easy to  take so much for granted.Below is a short ‘off the top of their heads’ list [via interpreter] – responses from one refugee family.

We are grateful for:

  • a warm home
  • enough food so everyone can feel full
  • warm and clean clothes for everyone
  • plenty of clean water to drink and use
  • [free] health care
  • books to look at [and learn to read]
  • a phone [to call family back home – to make sure they are OK]
  • the kindness of people all around us
  • a safe country – when we hear an airplane, we do not have to be afraid

I would like to close with an anecdote.  There is a path around Crawford Lake [in Ontario] that offers a series of informational pictures and short stories. These stories are retellings of First Nations peoples and celebrations. One of these signs outlines the story of ‘thanksgiving’. It starts with this sentence:

“Thanksgiving to native indians was a way of everyday life 

rather than a one-day celebration.”

I encourage you to take a few moments and think about this quote.

And, when you see your students on Tuesday, perhaps you will create a list together. You will likely be delighted and amazed with their ideas.