Vijaya Venkatesh | 02 Mar 2007
Thanksgiving is a major celebration in USA, as we all know. It signifies different things to different people. While some enjoy the family reunion, some look forward to the sumptuous turkey feast and many others revel in the subsequent black Friday sale.
Over the years spent in USA, I have learnt the background to this festival, about traveling pilgrims being fed by native Indians and I try to remember on this day, the various things I am thankful for. Well, I tried to extend this a little bit this year and wanted my growing children to reflect upon thanksgiving too. So at a fine opportunity, when the mood was calm, the air was crisp and my entire family had no clue of what was going to hit them, I posed the statement “ Let us talk about what each one of us is thankful for.” My older son who is usually considered a mature person, was quick to respond with “I am thankful to Apple for creating for my sleek iPod, to Nike for making the best sports shoes, to my father for getting me the coolest blue-tooth cell phone and the TV for showing us all the basketball and football games”. Not to be outdone, my younger son who is usually frank and outspoken added that he was thankful for his neat MP3 player, his game consoles and to Subway for making the best sub sandwiches ever. Okay, my husband and I realized the effect of commercialization and materialism. Not that they don’t value people and relationships, but they take it for granted. Happiness, peaceful existence, good opportunities and success are part of their young, carefree life and in a way we are glad for that.
Now came the time for my husband and me to share our thoughts. We are of course wiser with age and richer with life’s experiences and we started listing our thanks to our wonderful families who have steadfastly supported us, our rewarding jobs, our spiritual guide who has guided us, and our friends who share their time with us. There was a long minute of silence that followed and I am sure our children realized there is so much more to be thankful for.