Appreciating your blessings

William T. Robinson, Jr.

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We have just celebrated Thanksgiving, probably one of the most beloved holidays recognized in this country regardless of one’s religious affiliation. It is a time when family and friends partake in a sumptuous meal consisting of staples such as turkey, ham, candied yams, dressings, macaroni and cheese, greens, mashed potatoes and sweet potato pie. For others as myself, the beauty of Thanksgiving is in the warmth of enjoying each other’s company and being mindful and appreciative of the many blessings daily bestowed upon of us.

These are blessings of family, loved ones, friends, health, shelter, and opportunities and benefits pouring down on us daily like rain. They are so abundant that some people take their blessings for granted, often failing to appreciate or acknowledge them.

Thanksgiving Day for many people is a time of introspection, looking back through the year, acknowledging their journey and the positive gains or growth acquired. It forces many people to realize that they didn’t get as far as they have by themselves. However, acknowledging God’s blessing should be a daily observance.

I can only wonder in awe why God has so abundantly blessed me, aspiring me to contemplate on ways to repay him. While Thanksgiving Day is the official day of celebrating and giving thanks to God’s generosity, I personally try to acknowledge his benevolence daily. Thus I am motivated and find it easy to pass forward my time, energy and resources to help others who may be less fortunate. For me it means working in the community trying to bring about social, political, economic, and educational equity for all people. It is not about me manifesting an air of grandiosity, thinking it is all about me.

You see when your plate runneth over, you have a responsibility and obligation to share your windfall of blessings. Unfortunately I see too many people abundantly blessed, constantly complaining and looking to find fault in others whom they see as beneath them. There seem to be too many people caught up in classism, thinking they are better than their peers, enjoying the fruits of materialism, failing to truly give God the praise and glory through action.

When you genuinely appreciate your blessings, you cannot idly stand by and not reciprocate those blessings. Giving back should not be done for show or for public acknowledgement but out of true gratification and love for God. Helping others should not be seen as a burden but as an act of love that makes you feel good. Acting as an instrument to serve humanity is the best way to show your obedience and love to our omnipotent benefactor.

This year has not been without some monumental loses among some whom I considered close friends. But when the hurt of losing them subsided, it only made me more appreciative of the memories and gift of friendship we shared. I can only hope that when my journey on earth is over that I would have left this world a better place. I guess I am luckier that most because God has made things that I don’t quite understand teachable moments. He has shown me time and time again that I am his child and to give my problems to him, because he has my back.

Just think how this could be a much better world if those who were truly thankful for their blessings gave back unselfishly. It is in doing, not talking, that results occur. Being active in promoting positive change, uplifting the downtrodden, disadvantaged, and hopeless is paramount to those who truly are grateful for their blessings.

Get in and fit in, wherever you can, in promoting and uplifting those disadvantaged and suffering in your communities. If you are truly thankful for your many blessings, giving back should be easy. Your blessings will only continue to multiply.