Thursday is the big day — Turkey Day.

A day of eating, watching parades and football games and hopefully, it’s a day of giving thanks.

What are you thankful for?

Are you thankful for your family even though they sometimes get on your nerves? Some people have no family with which to celebrate.

Are you thankful for your home? Due to natural disasters or to no job, some people don’t have a home in which to celebrate.

Are you thankful for the food you have to eat? Some people, even in the United States, will go hungry tomorrow.

Are you thankful for the chance to shop over the weekend? There are some people who don’t know where their next dollar is coming from.

Are you thankful to have a chance to be a part of the political process? Regardless of whether you are happy about the outcome, there are people all across the globe who don’t have the opportunity to speak about their government, let alone vote.

Now, I’m trying not to be a “Debbie Downer” this Thanksgiving.

However, I hope and pray we each fully understand how truly good our lives are.

I have visited other countries and have seen firsthand how people believe we truly live in the land of opportunity.

Do you feel that way?

I have to say that I’m thankful for all the things mentioned above and so much more.

I’m thankful for a family, for a job, for a car and for friends, just to name a few.

I guess what I’m trying to say is, during this holiday season, if you are truly thankful then you should be saying “thank you.”

Then ask yourself, “How can I help make someone else’s Thanksgiving a little brighter?”

If we each took the time to look at someone else and their needs, we would see many of our needs are not “needs” but simply just “wants.”

What do you need and what do you want this holiday season?

If we’d stop and honestly answer that question, we just may be surprised by the answer.

I believe there are few things we truly need in our lives, especially those of us who are not in need of food, shelter or clothing, during this or any other time of the year.

During this holiday weekend and even during Christmas season, we can celebrate the holiday “National Day of Listening.”

This is an unofficial day of observance win which Americans are encouraged to set aside time to record the stories of their families, friends and local communities.

It was first launched by the national oral history project StoryCorps in 2008 and occurs on the Friday after Thanksgiving, when families are more likely to spend time together.

Regardless of whom you interview, take the time to talk with those older family members who can share what life was like for them when they were your age or their favorite Thanksgiving or Christmas Day memories.

The important thing to remember is you are engaging with someone you love and you are thankful for them and their life.

Do they have a story to tell you’ve never heard before? Or, do they need to tell you the same story again because they believe it needs to be heard?

If we stop and listen, we can many, many stories around us — not just around our dining room tables.

So, have fun eating, visiting, listening and most importantly, giving thanks for all you have in your life this holiday season.

Happy Thanksgiving

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