I hope you had a terrific Thanksgiving!
You probably have similar holiday tradition as I do. As we sit down to enjoy the Thanksgiving meal, my family and friends take turns expressing their gratitude. People usually acknowledge something intangible for which they are thankful, like their family, their safety from harm, their health, their friends. They tend to focus on the important relationships in their lives.
Thanksgiving is obviously about gratitude but it is also clearly about abundance. The traditional symbol of Thanksgiving, the cornucopia overflowing with food, signifies abundance. Our preparation of a huge meal, more food than most people could eat is a display of the abundance in which we live.
Unfortunately, abundance is now seen as having more than you could possibly need just like the Thanksgiving meal is more than you can possibly eat. We have gotten so used our abundance that we don’t notice that we have shifted from focusing on what we require to what we can acquire. We accumulate as if we fear that here will be scarcity in the future.
A striking contrast to the abundance and gratitude that we experience during Thanksgiving, Black Friday is a spectacular example of the mindset of lack. Fueled by the idea of scarcity, we engage our limbic system and become animal-like. The images of crowds stampeding as the doors to the stores open, shoppers diving into bins and shoving other shoppers out of the way is disturbing.
Now let me be clear, I have nothing against shopping and no one likes a sale more than me! Likewise, I am not bashing the idea of having and giving nice things.
Some things we value for their beauty.
Some things we value for the utility.
Some things we value for their connection to a lost loved one.
Some things we value because they make us feel sexy or successful or important.
But things can’t make you feel anything that isn’t already inside you.
We spend a great deal of time and energy buying things during the holiday season. However, what people really yearn for is not something that you can buy.
The most meaningful gift you can give is your love, attention and appreciation.
This holiday season, what do you want to have and give in abundance?