This week in the “ART of LIVING LIFE” we celebrate Thanksgiving, so let’s take a moment and look back.
By Dan & Suzie Potter . . . DUZIE
Every Thanksgiving Suzie’s dad would wake up early in the morning and pack the vehicle with scaffolding. Then Dad, Mom and Suzie’s 4 to 7 siblings (depending on the year) would fill the car and head full of excitement to Woodward Avenue in downtown Detroit. The scaffolding would be set up and filled with their entire family. They had the best seats for the annual Thanksgiving Day Parade. The wonderful floats would pass by on the streets and in the air. There were more people than you could count, more music than one could remember and more stories than one could tell.
After the last float passed, the family (along with metal scaffold pipes and boards) would return to the car, on the road again and finally to the family driveway and home on the 11 Mile Road home. The driveway over the next few hours would fill with cars carrying grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends.
Suzie says, “Thanksgiving was a day to fill the house with people that we loved, and people who needed to be loved”.
The house and yard were filled with thankfulness to those who cooked, those who told stories, those who played games, those who passed the dressing and cut the turkey.
Today Suzie’s childhood home belongs to a new family, the scaffolding has since been passed on to others, and several people who once shared our Thanksgiving have simply passed on.
Sometimes it seems that our ability today to give thanks also been lost or passed on. It seems that we have exchanged thanks-giving for thanks-taking. There is almost an expectation that someone else will make the food, tell the stories, play the games, pass the dressing and cut the turkey. All this happens while we watch the parade from our comfortable cozy chair.
Thanksgiving is more than a date to sit, feast, sit, watch football, sit, see movies and sit some more. It is a time to fill our tables with thankfulness!
When we lived in Poland, we would celebrate our Thanksgiving by finding every international student, neighbor, and friend (and even some invited by others) . . . and invite them to our little house on Ulica Kręta (the street we lived on). All day long we would serve them food, tell stories and play games. They in turn would loudly say with words and actions “thank you”! We had, Americans, Mongolians, Africans, Polish, Vietnamese, Russians, and Koreans speaking several languages and sampling food they had never seen before. None of them understood cranberries on turkey or the spicy bread crumbs cooked inside the Turkey, but it was so much fun.
On this Thanksgiving day (and holiday season), wherever you may be, don’t serve only those who belong. Find those who are alone, single, old, left out and forgotten and let true thanksgiving return to your table. It is better to give than to receive . . . or take!
Life Coaching Question to discuss:
Who will you invite to a meal of thankfulness and share a fully alive moment?
The Art of Living Life – DUZIE (Dan & Suzie Potter) November 2019