Actively Giving Thanks
Land acknowledgement: I live on the ancestral lands of the Kickapoo and the Miami. They were forcibly removed from their ancestral lands.
This Thanksgiving, I have found myself thinking about what it means for thanksgiving to be an active exercise instead of something akin to a passive counting of blessings.
What if my thanksgiving were not just a self serving activity?
What if my giving thanks actually led me to something more than keeping a tally of the ways in which I have been #blessed throughout the year?
What if it was more than a naming of the results of my privilege and advantage?
What if it was more than a list of the same old things that I know I should be thankful for but often take for granted because I can?
What would happen if my thanksgiving actually spurred me to action?
What would that look like?
Perhaps an active thanksgiving would result in a process of discovery of who/what is on my list, of who/what isn't on my list, of who/what is ignored, of who/what I have purposefully left off, of why any of them/this is on my list, of how they/it ended up on my list or not.
Perhaps then it would become a deep look at the ways in which I have taken advantage of my privilege.
Perhaps then it would involve seeking forgiveness for the ways in which I have wronged others.
Perhaps then it would lead to a commitment to reconciliation and restitution.
Perhaps then it would include learning about individuals and organizations that are doing powerful justice work in my area.
Perhaps then it would lead to substantive change in the way in which I live.
Perhaps then it would become a way of life and not just a single day once a year full of too much food.
What if I put the what ifs into to practice? Perhaps then everything changes. And for that I give thanks.