It has been said that the hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings. Albert Schweitzer described the importance of gratitude,
" To educate yourself for the feeling of gratitude means to take nothing for granted, but to always seek out and value the kind that will stand behind the action. Nothing that is done for you is a matter of course. Everything originates in a will for the good, which is directed at you. Train yourself never to put off the word or action for the expression of gratitude."
America's National Day of Thanksgiving actually was proclaimed by President Lincoln in October of 1863 which set apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." The nation was still in the midst of civil war and the battle of Gettysburg had occurred just several months prior. Lincoln had not yet delivered his Gettysburg address.
Despite the horrible anguish of war, Lincoln delivered the following proclamation:
"The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God"...
"It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union."
Though war rages in many parts of the world, though terrorism remains an ever-present concern to all of us, though there remains "lamentable civil strife" in many nations, the magnificent words of Lincoln ring true today.
My Thanksgiving wishes for all of us include for you and yours the full enjoyment of peace, harmony and tranquility.We have much for which to be grateful and thankful. I count your loyal readership among my blessings! Have a good one!
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