Giving Thanks

Almost everybody in the U.S. will be celebrating Thanksgiving tomorrow, but are we all really giving thanks?  As if saying it were enough, what does it really mean to give thanks?

Some famously give back to their community and thank those who support them like my favorite MVP, Mr. Cameron Newton.  His annual Cam’s Thanksgiving Jam feeds over 800 needy kids and families annually for the last four years.  Cam loves to give and interact with kids and said the following:

“In my profession, it’s so serious, and this gives them (kids) an opportunity to see me and gives me an opportunity to see them.  Seeing smiles on faces, it’s really humbling and it puts you in the holiday spirit. I just want to do my part and do my due diligence giving back to such a great community.”

Others, like President Obama, gave thanks to the role models and innovators, from all walks of life, who help shaped architecture, arts, business, entertainment, math, music, sports, technology, etc. via the Presidential Medal of Freedom, our country's highest civilian award.  President Obama recognized 21 individuals including Bill Gates, Bruce Sprinsteen, Cicely Tyson, Diana Ross, Ellen DeGeneres, Frank Gehry, Kareem Abdul Jabar, Lorne Michaels, Maya Lin, Michael Jordan, Robert DeNiro, Robert Redford, Tom Hanks, Vin Scully and more saying:

“Everybody on this stage has touched me in a very powerful, personal way, in ways that they probably couldn’t imagine” and even joked about one recipient, Bruce Springsteen “I am the President, he is the boss,” while paying tribute and joking about how grateful he is for each recipient and how they “helped make me who I am.”

Others, like my cousin Donna, challenged her social media family and friends to say thank you because its GOOD FOR YOU!  She posted:

“Thank you” is a phrase used so often that it’s easy to take gratitude for granted. But research is finding that gratitude offers a whole host of benefits for those who give thanks as well as those who receive it. Gratitude is linked to better physical and mental health and greater happiness. For example: 

• Grateful people have 10% fewer stress-related illnesses and 12% lower blood pressure;

• Saying “thank you” rapidly strengthens feelings of connection and satisfaction between people in relationships;

• People who regularly write down what they’re grateful for reduce their risk of heart disease and get better sleep.

Many of us lead busy lives, at home and at work, and stress and burnout are all too common. Yet expressions of gratitude can provide us with an opportunity to take a “reflective pause”, a chance to notice moments of grace and blessing that we might otherwise overlook amid the rustle and hum of our daily existence.

Greater Good Science Center (GGSC) at UC Berkeley offers the 21-Day Gratitude Challenge. The Gratitude Challenge is an online, shareable gratitude journal that helps you say "thanks" for the good people and things in your life.  All it requires is a few minutes a day to pause and give thanks" 

So for my stress-level, health, happiness, heart and to get a good nights sleep, let me expressly say "Thank You Cam, President Obama and Donna for leading us this week in HOW TO GIVE THANKS !"

Peace and Love,


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