Thanksgiving is a few short weeks from now. Once all the Halloween decorations are taking down, the Thanksgiving decorations goes up. Some Christmas too, if the store wants to aggressively advertise. Sure, we still have the Halloween-themed candy wrappers. We continue to use pumpkins since 1) they are still in season and 2) they match the ideas of harvest and “fall” in the northern hemisphere. Let’s face it; pretty much every holiday is commercialized.
So what is this “worst idea” ever I want to talk about? Back in September, I encountered and now wish I never heard about this at all: Unthanksgiving.
What in the world is wrong with these people? They would rather focus on the negative aspects of colonial American relations with the native American tribes from the late 1600s and all the way to present day. They refuse to celebrate this holiday, not because of the hype, but because of their extremely slanted view of history.
I don’t like to rant but this actually sickened me.
It is so unChristian.
From Genesis to Revelation, those who worship God give thanks. Even in the books where God is the harshest, there is never a sense of ingratitude anywhere. “I must discipline you because I love you. You’ll thank me later.” Jesus embodied that in the Gospels – giving thanks even for the miracles. The apostle Paul gave thanks for the believers even if he was correcting them on a matter of doctrine or practice. As a Christian, do not let the sordid side of a country’s history stop you from giving thanks to God because it is his good will that we give thanks.
It is so unAmerican.
Of the all nations in the world, there are less than 15 that have some version of thanksgiving. The United States was one of the first to institute it and preserved it by legislation. Several other nations copied us only because we brought to them after World War 2. Harvest festivals have preceded Christianity in some nations which leads to my next point.
It is unhuman.
Doctors are now finding out the benefits of having an attitude of gratitude. Patients who recover faster are those with not just a positive attitude, but a thankful attitude. According to Harvard, yes, that Harvard, benefits of gratitude include happiness. Here are some other benefits: more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve your health, better deal with adversity, and building strong relationship.
In other words, the doctors are finding out what the theologians have long known.
In a 2015 post by Amy Morin in Psychology Today, Morin listed 7 Scientifically Proven Benefits of Gratitude:
1. Gratitude opens the door to more relationships.
2. Gratitude improves physical health.
3. Gratitude improves psychological health.
4. Gratitude enhances empathy and reduced aggression.
5. Grateful people sleep better.
6. Grateful people improves self-esteem.
7. Gratitude improves mental strength.
Do you see all benefits of gratitude? Even if you are not a Christian, you can and should give thanks if only because of your self-interests.
The best idea? Give thanks. Always.
The worst idea? Not giving thanks.