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Tuesday Cannon Fodder: say thanks

Central Lutheran ChurchThanksgiving meal giveaway to families in need Hans Gutknecht/MediaNews Group/Los Angeles Daily News via Getty Images

American Thanksgiving is on Thursday. It’s one of my favorite holidays of the year because I love food and family, sometimes in that order. (@ my family who read the blog - I’m kidding, I promise). Count this as the first or two or three Thanksgiving-related CFs.

We often focus on what we, personally, are thankful for this time of year. My family has a wonderful tradition, that I’m sure is nowhere near a unique one, of going around the table and saying what we are thankful for in our lives. We get poignant moments and emotion - it’s lovely. It’s a tradition that I will continue throughout my life.

It’s also self-centering, which is fine to an extent when you’re expressing gratitude, but life isn’t all about (the royal) you. It may seem like an issue of semantics, but “I’m thankful for” hits differently than simply saying “thank you for [whatever]” to another person. It takes your personal feelings out of it and values the other person and what they are doing intrinsically rather than in the context of what it means / does for you.

I think that is a profound and meaningful difference. Here is my challenge to you: sometime in the next week, thank someone you wouldn’t normally or haven’t recently thanked - your barista, the janitor in your building, the checkout person at the grocery. Take a minute to think about that person’s value beyond what they do for you each day, and when you say thanks, try to say something more meaningful and personal that “thanks for all you do.”

Totally unrelated: there have been a number of tweets / opinion pieces that are trying to be edgy about turkey. Calling it mediocre. Suggesting we bring another protein to the table. Please stop with these posts. You do know that you can cook and eat literally anything you want for Thanksgiving, right? You could make your tradition that you order one dish from every restaurant in town and have a smorgasbord of international tastes. You choose what goes on your Thanksgiving table. If you don’t want turkey, don’t make it. And stop trying to yuck somebody else’s yum. That doesn’t make you interesting, it just makes you a dick.