The Importance of Gratitude
Thanksgiving begins a period of holidays celebrated by several faiths. The official Thanksgiving holiday was proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863 during the Civil War.
Despite the war’s horrific impact, President Lincoln pointed out reasons to be grateful: “fruitful fields and healthful skies;” peace with other nations; laws respected; growth and productivity in agriculture and manufacturing; as well as the harmony “that has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict.”
The pandemic has intensified economic and health problems for many individuals and families. At the same time we share grave concerns over the challenges facing our nation including racial and ethnic discrimination and violence, economic inequities, immigration, and the harmful impact of climate change. It is an American trait to be critical of our nation, but also committed to its improvement in order to achieve our high ideals.
Nonetheless, we should remember to be grateful--for the freedoms that we enjoy as Americans, for the love and devotion of family and friends, for religious beliefs that help us be grateful and resilient. In addition, this year we should be grateful for the scientific achievements of effective vaccines and treatments for COVID-19, which has caused so much suffering worldwide.
Thanksgiving can be the start of a “Season of Gratitude.” We hope that you find many reasons to be grateful and to share these feelings with others this Thanksgiving and beyond.