In our lifetimes, we have not experienced a Thanksgiving like we will this year. For some people, this has been one of the most difficult years in their lifetime given the pandemic and all of the great disharmony that has befallen so many people. It may be difficult to find things to be thankful for given the loss of life, the great illness suffered by many, the financial ruin experienced by many families, the destruction of businesses, and the great uncertainty that lies ahead.
Despite all of this, there are many things that we can be thankful for on a daily basis. Many of us engage in the fruitless task of comparing our situation to that of another. In almost every instance, we look at people that are better off and then bemoan the fact that we do not have the blessings that are experienced by these other individuals. Imagine if we could change our vantage point.
A couple of years ago I visited the most amazing place I have ever been to in my life. I was fortunate enough to visit the fishing village of Luang Prabang, Laos located on the Mekong River. Laos is unique in many ways. It is one of the few communistic countries in the world, it is predominantly Buddhist, and it has been the most bombed country in the world. There are still thousands of unexploded bombs located throughout the country!
The people who live in Luang Prabang do so in abject poverty. They have absolutely nothing in the way of worldly goods. Despite all of that, they are the happiest and most grateful people that I have ever met. In fact, Buddhist monks walk through the town early in the morning when all of the townspeople come out and provide them with food that they have prepared to share with them. This beautiful ceremony is called Almsgiving and is a testament to the giving nature of the Lao people.
The experience of being in this amazing place made me think about how very little we need to be happy and grateful despite what is going on in our everyday life. Perhaps, we can dwell upon the various gifts that have been bestowed upon us which might include our health, our family, the fact that we live in a country where many of the things that kill people in other parts of the world are greatly reduced and look to those who are less fortunate as a way of realizing what could otherwise be.
For many years, on Thanksgiving morning, I would take my children to a business located in Danbury, CT that donated food and clothing to homeless people. It was such an eye-opening experience for my children and it is something that they still talk about decades later. How could you make somebody’s life a little bit better? What elderly person or lonely individual could you call or drop something by at their home? How could you help to ease the burden of pain that some other human is experiencing?
I want to wish each and every one of you a Happy Thanksgiving. If our firm can do anything to assist you I would encourage you to contact us and let us know what we can do to help lighten your load. We all hear the expression that we are in this together and this is especially true during these times. Please reach out to someone to help make their Thanksgiving a little brighter.