By Yvonne Sam
It is interesting, and at the selfsame time, paradoxical, that we annually carry out this ritual of giving thanks for all that we have, by consuming large quantities of food, then going out the next day to buy more things that we absolutely do not need.
Notwithstanding, to be thankful is to be content, which is to say that one is satisfied when they have enough.
Pray tell me what kind of looks or stares would you get from your family and friends, gathered around the table, if you stopped eating, after only one serving of Thanksgiving dinner.
Imagine the reaction you would receive after declaring, “I am satisfied, I don’t need any more food”.
Why don’t we give the money to help the flood and hurricane victims this year?
Are you still scoffing or laughing uncontrollably? Be that as it may, what makes this little anecdote not so funny a moment later, is that, although it sounds like a joke, it is not really a joke.
I will not openly suggest, here, that as Canadians we change the entire custom of Thanksgiving,
but I do recommend that, as humans, we do our best to help our fellow humans around the world, to really think about the essence of the word and the act of Thanksgiving.
Let us celebrate the tradition, once yearly, and indulge in a few small, well-deserved pleasures, but above all, let us do our best to remain thankful, every single day of our lives.
Plainly put, let’s try to incorporate into our daily lives some type of thanksgiving routine, by reading or meditating on something that reminds us of the gratitude of being alive and also those who are experiencing less fortunate circumstances.
Epicurus, an ancient Greek philosopher, said, “If thou wilt make a man happy, add not unto his riches but take away from his desires.” And the ancient Chinese philosopher, Lau Tzu, is quoted as saying “There is no calamity greater than lavish desires. There is no greater guilt than discontent. And there is no greater disaster than greed.”
Give thanks and be thankful every day. You will soon notice a positive difference in your life and in the lives of those around you.
Yvonne Sam, a retired Head Nurse and Secondary School Teacher, is Vice-president of the Guyana Cultural Association of Montreal. A regular columnist for over two decades with the Montreal Community Contact, her insightful and incursive articles on topics ranging from politics, human rights and immigration, to education and parenting have also appeared in the Huffington Post, Montreal Gazette, XPressbogg and Guyanese OnLine. She is also the recipient of the Governor General of Canada Caring Canadian Citizen Award.