“Name one thing that you’re thankful for.” Maybe this is a ritual that you observed around your table. Sometimes truly meaningful things were said; sometimes your share was simply your ticket to a helping of turkey.
It’s a good ritual. It just needs to be enhanced. Three steps:
Take a moment. Think about what you’re grateful for. The plate of food in front of you? Having a family or friends or a community? The fact that your kids aren’t part of the one in five children in the USA that go hungry at some point during the year?
Do something. Do something regularly and frequently. Give a monthly recurring donation to a local, reputable foodbank. Visit lonely elderly people at a rest home every Sunday. Work on changing policies that contribute to poverty.
Give thanks at all times, in all places, and in all circumstances. It’s easy to say “thanks” after the fact, when you have the new job, or when the healing is complete, or when the baby has been born. It’s tougher when you don’t have an income, or you’re injured, or you can’t conceive.
Gratitude in the midst of hardship is your way through it. Practice ThanksLiving.