Change the Thanksgiving Equation: Thanks + Giving

Rethink the Order

We celebrate Thanksgiving this week in the United States. It’s a holiday that I love for many reasons.

A tradition in many homes on Thanksgiving is to ask, “What are you most thankful for?”

Growing up, I heard all types of answers from the serious to the hilarious.

The focus on thankfulness and gratitude is a welcome one in a world that’s often negative and draining. It’s impossible to feel entitled when you’re busy thanking those who have made a difference in your life. Expressing thankfulness has numerous benefits from reducing depression to boosting your immune system.

 

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” –Hansa Proverb

 

But today I was thinking about the holiday differently.

Because it’s not only about being thankful and grateful.

The equation, in my way of thinking, is backwards. We often think of it this way:

Giving ⇒ thanks.

We think of Thanksgiving as the time to give thanks. We stop and show appreciation, express gratitude for all that we have in our lives. And that’s good.

But perhaps the equation is supposed to be exactly as stated:

Thanks ⇒ giving

Instead of giving thanks as the end result, it’s the beginning. We should give to others as a result of our thanks. In other words, because of our thankfulness, we are to be giving. Does that way of looking at it change anything?

It does for me. I realize that I can use this opportunity to do more for others.

 

“Joy is the simplest form of gratitude.” -Karl Barth

 

Instead of simply expressing thankfulness, what about getting active in the giving part of this equation? Thanksgiving is not only expressing thankful appreciation but also about paying it forward.

15 Thanksgiving Quotes to Start the Holiday Season

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is here in the United States. Even outside of the USA, you can benefit from a spirit of thankfulness and gratitude. Here are fifteen quotes to get you started:

 

“Thanksgiving Day is a good day to recommit our energies to giving thanks and just giving.” –Amy Grant

 

“Thanksgiving is an emotional holiday. People travel thousands of miles to be with people they only see once a year. And then they discover once a year is way too often.” –Johnny Carson

 

 

 

“I love Thanksgiving because it’s a holiday that is centered around food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me.” –Marcus Samuelsson

 

“Thanksgiving, after all, is a word of action.” –W.J. Cameron

 

“Thanksgiving dinners take 18 hours to prepare. They are consumed in 12 minutes. Half-times take 12 minutes. This is not coincidence.” –Erma Bombeck

 

“An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day.” –Irv Kupcient

 

“Thanksgiving Day comes…once a year; to the honest man it comes as frequently as the heart of gratitude will allow.” –Edward Sandford Martin

 

 

“I like football. It’s a great way to avoid conversation with your family at Thanksgiving.” –Craig Ferguson

28 Appreciation, Gratitude and Thank You Quotes

 

“No duty is more urgent than that of returning thanks.” –James Allen

 

“Some people grumble that roses have thorns; I am grateful that thorns have roses.” –Alphonse Karr

 

“Give thanks for a little and you will find a lot.” Hansa Proverb

 

“The only people with whom you should try to get even are those who have helped you.” –John E Southard

 

“I feel a very unusual sensation – if it is not indigestion, it must be gratitude.” –Benjamin Disraeli

 

“We can only be said to be alive in those moments when our hearts are conscious of our treasures.” –Thornton Wilder

 

Saying thank you is more than good manners. It is good spirituality. –Alfred Painter

 

“Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” -Voltaire

 

“The essence of all beautiful art is gratitude.” –Friedrich Nietzche

 

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John F. Kennedy

 

“The roots of all goodness lie in the soil of appreciation for goodness.” –Dalai Lama

 

“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.” -Cicero

 

“Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today, and creates a vision for tomorrow.” –Melody Beattie

 

“It is a sign of mediocrity when you demonstrate gratitude with moderation.” –Roberto Benigni

 

“Gratitude is the most exquisite form of courtesy.” –Jacques Maritain

 

“Gratitude isn’t a burdening emotion.” –Loretta Young

 

“Feeling gratitude, and not expressing it, is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” –William Arthur Ward

 

“Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

“In everything, give thanks.” -1 Thessalonians 5:18

 

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy.” –Marcel Proust

 

“Giving is an expression of gratitude for our blessings.” –Laura Arrillaga-Andreessen

 

“The deepest craving of human nature is the need to be appreciated.” –William James

 

“Be thankful for what you have and you’ll end up having more.” Oprah Winfrey

 

“Silent gratitude isn’t much to anyone.” Gertrude Stein

 

“Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.” –Henri Frederic Amiel

 

“I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought, and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” –GK Chesteron

 

“If you want to turn your life around, try thankfulness. It will change your life mightily.” -Gerald Good

 

“Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.” -Confucius

 

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