Here we are in mid-November, smack between taking down Halloween and putting up Christmas. We find ourselves with a quiet moment. We are grateful. We gather ourselves.
Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday.
It is the least commercial of all holidays. You would be hard pressed to find a giant inflatable turkey and, perhaps thankfully, cranberry lights haven’t caught on. The appeal of Thanksgiving is its purity of purpose: simple gratitude.
The atmosphere is also important. The house smells of good cooking and you find yourself in the company of your favorite people. Everyone should be hanging around the kitchen telling stories and generally getting in the way of the cook. I am the cook, and this is the one day that cooking is given the respect it truly deserves. A roasted turkey actually looks harder than it is, and for that I am grateful.
I went to a conference last month, put on by the Atlantic Magazine and Scripps called “The Atlantic Meets the Pacific” – an event of big ideas and curious people, albeit with attention deficit disorder. One of the speakers studied happiness. Put it under a microscope and studied it scientifically. Kind of the opposite of self-help books, instead trying to figure out what makes it tick. Quantum physics wasn’t represented at the conference, but one wonders if the same principles apply. In the Quantum universe, what you look at, you change by looking at it. Do we mutate happiness by observing it closely? That is why there are so few quantum philosophers, perhaps thankfully.
Circling back, contented people spend measurably more time being thankful. This is both obvious, and subtle. People with excess blessings have more to be thankful about. Thanking someone also helps make their day, some of that no doubt reflects back on you. But counting silent blessings also counts (so to speak). The most contented people among us are frequently thankful, cause or effect – or perhaps both.
Here are a few to get you going:
- If you are reading this on the computer, you have at your fingertips virtually the entire body of knowledge of the human race.
- Reading this blog means you have enough education to attack said body of knowledge.
- For you to sit there breathing, several billion things are going exactly right.
We all are staggering piles of human potential.
Celebrate and be thankful.
Donald Bucklin, MD (Dr. B) is a Regional Medical Director for U.S. HealthWorks and has been practicing clinical occupational medicine for more than 25 years. Dr. B. works in our Scottsdale, Arizona clinic.