If it wasn't for Thanksgiving you wouldn't know what makes various columnists thankful. You also wouldn't have a reason to use your pilgrim salt and pepper shakers, which is another point altogether.
Family, good health and friends are things that always make columnists (as well as normal people) grateful. But the best writers add a mixture of wit and poignancy that, if done correctly, makes you thankful for that particular column.
This isn't that kind.
But don't let that stop you from continuing. You see, it's not that kind mainly because it's about giving others a reason to be thankful rather than the traditional take of being thankful for what has been given to you.
Don't get me wrong, we all have plenty of reasons to be thankful, with good family, good health and good friends just scratching the surface. You throw good food and a good football team into that mix and you've practically got the world whipped.
Which is precisely my point. You know how good the things you are thankful for make you feel, so why not do your best to make others feel the same way? Why not literally give (cause for) thanks?
It's not like giving a present, but the result can be the same. And while some things that make others extremely thankful can involve a lot of work or money, others are just as easy as showing someone you care or that you're interested.
You can donate an item to Toys For Tots, grab a tag off the Angel Tree at your church or participate in a walk-a-thon to raise money for a good cause. You can also accomplish quite a bit by doing the little things, like complimenting a co-worker's new shirt, taking a friend to pick up their car from the shop or telling someone you appreciate them.
You can make a big difference by visiting a retirement home, volunteering at the hospital or taking time to make the intern at work feel part of the team. Anything that makes someone take time to reflect and say: "Wow, that was nice."
Anything that makes a person thankful that you took the time or made the effort. Whether it's cooking the meal for Thanksgiving, cleaning up after it, or making sure the pilgrim salt and pepper shakers were set out during it.
Todd Cline can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. His column appears on Tuesdays.
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