The true meaning of Thanksgiving is lost


Grace Iang, Reporter

If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than 75 percent of this world. If you have money in the bank, in your wallet or spare change in a dish someplace, you are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthiest people. If you woke up this morning with more health than illness, you are more blessed than the million who will not survive this week. If you can attend a church meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, you are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world. If you can read this, you are more blessed than over 2 billion people of the world that cannot read at all, according to We should be thankful everyday for the sunshine we get to see, however many Americans cannot manage to do that because of not being exposed to what’s happening to people who live halfway across the world. So, on Nov. 26 of this year, just give thanks again and again.

On Dec. 13, 1621, the Pilgrims celebrated what would be America’s first Thanksgiving Festival to thank God and to celebrate with their Indian friends. Since 1863, it’s been celebrated as a federal holiday every year. During the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln announced a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens,” to be celebrated on the last Thursday in November.

Thanksgiving is the one time of the year where we are reminded to reflect on our lives and to be thankful. It’s about spending time with family and friends and taking time to be grateful for what we have. Thanksgiving is a time not only to give thanks for everything we have but to give back to those who don’t have much.

The word thanksgiving says it all. It’s about giving thanks, not about wanting or buying more. Today, sadly, most Americans spend their Thanksgiving day not giving thanks but shopping. It’s a disappointment to hear more stores are opening earlier on Thanksgiving. Some of those stores include JCPenney, Kohl’s, Best Buy and Target, according to CNBC. These stores need to adjust their priorities. It’s ludicrous to open stores during Thanksgiving. Since the stores are opening, their employees are forced to work rather than be with their families. Because those stores are opened, many are leaving the table to save spots with their shopper rivals.

So this Thanksgiving, thank God, stay with your loved ones, tell them what you’re grateful for and listen to what they’re content with as well. When we hear all the things that others are thankful for, it triggers our mind that there is so much to appreciate in this world. So be thankful for God, your friends, family, the roof you live under and the food you are provided with, not just what is on sale.