- Quality of Life & Wellness»
- Personal Development
Thankfulness. Native Americans, Churches and a duty to defend
Give thanks to nature.
Who taught you about what thankfulness is?
Giving thanks is not what everyone does every day, That is just the truth. Many think that giving thanks is just about saying thank you. Thankfulness like anything else needs to be taught in some way. All the Dogmas of churches teach thankfulness. That is pretty cool. So while on social issues and rules we may disagree with the dogmas of churches I hope that on this we can agree.
Now atheists and agnostics may well think all this thankfulness is just for believers in a God. Not so. I do not trivialize the beauty in thanking our God but, thanking others will be just fine, thank you very much. Thankfulness is not words and thankfulness is not only appreciation it is deeper. Thank you gifts are very nice but they are not giving of thanks. In fact the smallest part of thankfulness is in outward physical manifestations.
Beautiful just beautiful
Try it you will like it!
asked Do not miss the point here please. The absolute best human communication is thanking another. We love to thank and to be thanked. It is good for us on both sides. It creates good energy and positive flowing of love between peoples. If you have trouble buying that try Eric’s patented “thank you” cure for a week:
( Every time you interact with someone start your responses with thank you. Change it around a little as in – Bill thank you for that or thanks for that input or Thank you for your comment or my fav, Thanks honey or buddy. If you do it well folks will ask you to stop or maybe they will not. The first time I tried the exercise I was to stop it. The second time, no one asked me to stop, in a full week)
Validation, acceptance, respect and openness are created by the simple use of words to the effect of thank you. Did you know that some cultures do not use the concept at all in normal conversation. In my experience the Native American Tribe of Navajo does not and the Southeast Asian Vietnam culture does not. Do not get me wrong, they give each other many thanks and they are thankful to others but just using the words routinely is nearly frowned upon. My conclusion on that is that “thank you” used in everyday conversation routinely is not really giving thanks.
So while saying thank you has great social benefit, it is not the same as being thankful. I hope that makes sense.
Give thanks. I mean "give" thanks.
Does part of you go out when you give thanks?
America we give thanks by showing thanks
Thankfulness and the inner dialogue
I met a man once that denied having any inner dialogue. How truly interesting I thought. I of course asked if he meant that he never talked to himself. And of course he affirmed that. Wow what a concept. So I watched him closely. And true to form he almost never hesitated almost never questioned himself. And then one day he had to do something he had never done before. As I watched I could see that he had come up with two alternatives and was deciding which was the best. So I later asked him how he decided which to do. And he answered “I took the pros and cons of both and chose the one with the most pros”. And then he admitted that he had talked to himself – adding wisely that he was the best advisor that he knew ;-)
Thankfulness begins with that inner dialogue. We will always have that dialogue and when thankfulness is one of the positions taken, lack of thankfulness is the other. I just call it self righteousness for lack of a better notion. So the development of thankfulness is when we let the thankfulness thought always or deeply override our self. As I love to say: Thankfulness is an inside job.
Are you in that space?? Are you giving it?
Thankfulness is not a thing. Thankfulness is not toward a thing. “All I am thankful for” is a term that is a misspeak. Notice it is a “ness” term. Generally meaning a, state of being.
Now is a good time to reflect on the idea of a Thanksgiving day. The way I break it down is that it is a day to give thanks. That is really cool. We should all be amazed at that idea because it is so very much like love. First you feel it and be it and then and only then can you give it away. Truly giving thanks is about giving away the thanks you have. And when you do that you make more room for more thanks to enter into you. Real thanks is a giving of yourself.
Each inch of dirt is worthy of our honor to it.
Now about that church dogma.
Churches make a lot of mistakes when it comes to dogma. I have been in at least 200 different churches. I have never been in one where thanks were not given and professed to be good. That just is how it is. So all churches preach to doctrine of thanks. Most preach the doctrine of giving thanks from deep within, a meaningful loving thanks. So on this aspect all churches are one. And all churches are good.
So I do reckon and declare that I give thanks to all churches. For spreading this oh so important message of love and thanks.
Honor and thanksgiving.
Go ahead and confuse the two concepts. That is just fine. Oh yes they are just fine to even interchange. Go back to my two cultures without much use for the “T” word. The Vietnamese love to honor and give thanks to ancestors and the Navajo love to honor and give thanks to the earth. Very cool notions. We honor those who do and did great works and we honor things that give life and nourishment. This is a very good thing.
Now on the matter of Native Americans, Aboriginals and First Nation people. The great North American tradition of Thanksgiving Day is not a sterling concept for these people. It kind of marks the beginning of the maltreatment and disrespect by Europeans toward them. I cannot go back and change that history. But I can honor them and include them in what I am thankful for. And so I do each year. I put them in my heart and as is my custom I pray to my God and theirs to watch over them and help them in their struggles. And I try to show that honor and thanks in some proper way. This year I will visit some Kumeyaa lands, specifically the Barona Band and pick up trash on Wildcat Canyon road. Of course my young son and I shall do it together and combine it with a good hike to give further thanks and pass on that tradition.
I sure like this photo.
As is this author’s want let me wrap up with some thoughts.
Sometimes giving thanks requires action and that action is not always just the happy face kind. If you are truly happy and thankful and honor something, you take care of that thing. Here is the USA we are most thankful for our freedoms. But I tell you true that everyday there are circumstances at work that will decay and destroy those freedoms. We must take action to protect those freedoms. Everything from our environment to speech and to faith are under a siege by those who are not thankful and do not honor them. Real thanks requires sacrifice and devotion to that which we are truly thankful for in our hearts.