Thanksgiving. Giving thanks. Having gratitude. It is a wonderful state of being, gratitude, but in our masked world of elaborately designed character structures, how many of us actually know that gratitude isn't an action you can take, isn't something you can DO. No, gratitude, like forgiveness, is an organic, spontaneous place you can only ARRIVE to - when you've cleared out the ego-inspired negativity and neediness inside of yourself, which IS something you can do.

As I've said many times, and written often on this blog, when you love yourself, you can't help but love others. You don't even have to try. And when you have become your true ADULT SELF, you can't help but be grateful and forgiving.

Thanksgiving is actually the only holiday I really like. Why? Well, because it's not religious, it's not patriotic, it's not a memorial or an anniversary, it's not about obligatory gift-giving, it's not about declaring romantic love for someone you take for granted the rest of the year, and for me, the greatest of all blessings, it's not about kids.

Yes, there I said it. I am giving thanks today for a holiday that is about grown-up pleasures, our indulgences of which are the best gifts we could ever give to our children, by the way.

Last year, I posted this in response to a piece in the Wall Street Journal about Thanksgiving:

"Well, you know I couldn't resist this one, being the curmudgeon that I am about kids ruling the roost in our overindulgent times. This did my heart good - from the Wall Street Journal Op-ed page yesterday:

"Thanksgiving: Great American Holiday, or The Greatest American Holiday?" by Joseph Epstein

'Thanksgiving does have the absence of the heavy hand of dreary gift giving that has put the groans in Christmas, the moans in Hanukkah. And no one has written treacly Thanksgiving songs, comparable to White Christmas and Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire, which, I suspect, have helped make Christmas one of the prime seasons for suicide. Let us not speak Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, of whose travail we shall all have heard more than our fill as we ride up elevators and pass along the aisles of department stores.
'For some time in America we have, of course, been living under Kindergarchy, or rule by children. If children do not precisely rule us, then certainly all efforts, in families where the smallish creatures still roam, are directed to relieving their boredom if not (hope against hope) actually pleasing them. Let us be thankful that Thanksgiving has not yet fallen to the Kindergarchy, as has just about every other holiday on the calendar, with the possible exceptions of Yom Kippur and Ramadan. Thanksgiving is not about children. It remains resolutely an adult holiday about grown-up food and drink and football."

So, rather than "giving" thanks today, folks, I recommend experiencing gratitude - for whatever it is that you are genuinely grateful for already, even if it is your kids!

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