The exercise of giving thanks is a fairly complicated exercise when you think about it. I have a tendency to thank everybody with whom I interact if I have initiated the interaction in the interest of self or even of others. I am personally interacting with another person, taking their time, interrupting whatever it was they were up to at the time and generally seeking something from them. It doesn’t depend upon the significance of whatever I’m asking of them, it is simply a recognition that they’ve permitted me to access them and consume some of their time…which is a quantified thing even though we don’t quite know how much we have left, and we tend not to think of our time as being limited since it hasn’t likely yet been limited, to our knowledge at least.
The ‘something’ might be their approval or their opinion or their ideas on a certain topic or a myriad range of other things. It might be their response to something I think to be funny or at least of interest or disgusting or just something I think deserves acknowledgment. It could be as innocent as a comment on what a beautiful day we’re having, or what a pretty color that house is, or what a cute doggy that was, or what a beautiful car that was that drove past.
So many of our daily interactions simply occur without much thought being given; at least that seems the way it is for me. Those interactions about which we do think often involve something we wish we’d have said or that we wish we could take back. Too often, there is the tendency to engage mouth before engaging brain, if you are at all human.
I tend to see things I think would be of interest to others and feel somewhat compelled to mention that; to share those things with whoever is within sharing distance if they’re not a total stranger (that having been said, even total strangers sometimes hear from me). That can be in the form of this blog or a casual verbal interaction.
Some of my ‘sharing’ actually involves people whom I have never met or even seen before, as mentioned above, but with whom I’ve just experienced something interesting or frightening or beautiful or sad. If we’ve just had a common experience, that sometimes simply begs a brief remark…or at least so it seems to me. My better half likely wishes I’d curtail that habit, and sometimes I actually agree with her that I should, at least until the next shiny object catches my eye.
Giving thanks becomes a habit after practicing a while. It simply is part of who/what we are as individuals. Some never exhibit the fact that they’ve had that experience likely because that simply isn’t the way they’re put together socially. Or, because they don’t see things quite the same way as I seem to see things. Or, they have much more important and consuming thoughts on their minds that overcome any urge they might’ve had to acknowledge what they’ve seen.
I fear that for some, there is simply not enough appreciation of what they see to make it seem worthy of mention. From my slightly skewed perspective, life will have proved to be far too short to not have engaged in that sharing of things we’ve seen or experienced that touched us in a special way. Yes, there are concerns and some of those concerns rise to the level of blurring all else at the moment. Some of my most memorable encounters have been at a time I least expected to have the encounter. Those are the impromptu encounters often with a stranger or at least someone with whom I am barely acquainted.
Admittedly, I occasionally get a strange look from some at those times, but, generally, I must travel amidst kindred spirits since I usually am at least acknowledged as having said something or made an observation that tracked with theirs. And, yes, there are those times when I really wish I’d have kept my mouth shut, however, those are relatively few and far between, thus I don’t seem to learn anything from them…at least nothing lasting.
I give thanks for all the past experiences that have made me what I am today, and for all those yet-to-have-been-had experiences which will impact yet today, tomorrow and each tomorrow to come until there are no more tomorrows. And, since we seldom know just when our experiences on this earth will cease to occur, it seems a shame to waste even a minute…unless that was spent looking at a sunrise, or watching a momma bird teach junior how to locate and get to an earthworm. You know, the really important stuff of this lifetime!
May your today be filled with wonderful experiences, and may those even be found amidst the trials and tribulations we each face. May we find the ability to seize those momentary opportunities that, once past, are no more to be found.
My wishes for a happy, bountiful and yummy Thanksgiving experience…and for those with whom you’ll have the opportunity to interact…and maybe, just maybe, to brighten a day.