With Thanksgiving right around the corner, the focus currently seems to be on making the little motivation that remains last through the final weeks of the semester. Thanksgiving is a much coveted and needed break to reenergize us for the weeks ahead and replenish the lack of motivation and food we may currently be experiencing. In the midst of an abundance of other things to focus on, the true reasons we celebrate Thanksgiving are easily overlooked. The College of William and Mary attempted to counter this feeling by serving a Thanksgiving dinner this past Thursday. However, since I myself fit this dinner into my schedule between a meeting and a group project, I’m not sure of the real effect this had.
Thanksgiving is a holiday for remembering an incredible story from centuries ago. When the group of people now affectionately known as the “Pilgrims” celebrated the feast so many of us now associate with Thanksgiving, they had a lot to be thankful for. After two months on the stormy sea and a long winter filled with disease and malnourishment, a successful harvest was a symbol of accomplishment and hope. They were not simply giving thanks because of forced family time and because a holiday told them to do so: the pilgrims were genuinely thankful. Without remembering the history behind why we celebrate Thanksgiving, it is almost impossible to both appreciate the effort that went into creating this holiday and the value our Thanksgiving celebrations should hold.
Thanksgiving is about the sense of camaraderie and connectedness that arises out of an intentional remembrance of the blessings, no matter how big or small, we have each received.
Thanksgiving is not only about the food, although I do admit that is a much appreciated and beloved aspect of it. Rather, Thanksgiving is about the sense of camaraderie and connectedness that arises out of an intentional remembrance of the blessings, no matter how big or small, we have each received. If you feel you are lacking in the blessings category, I think the opportunity to attend such a distinguished college is a blessing in itself. The College has done an excellent job of making others feel blessed as well, through the donation of many meal swipes to help underprivileged families in the community. The consideration the Student Assembly has put into this philanthropic effort is a perfect example of the way Thanksgiving should be: a time of remembering our own blessings and helping others to find some blessings of their own.
As we all go our separate ways for Thanksgiving this year, let’s take the time to remember the story of our ancestors and genuinely give thanks for the little things. Let’s use this week to rest, eat, remember and, most importantly, give thanks.
Email Abby Berry at firstname.lastname@example.org.