Thanksgiving living: Show gratitude by doing good for others (1914)


Proper way to show gratitude is doing good to others.

Thanksgiving presupposes thankfulness. One cannot give thanks unless he feels thankful, and this feeling is a cultivated habit. As an expression of simple politeness, it is not an innate but an inbred trait. Much more is this the case when we consider the thanks that are due to a beneficent Creator.

In a time when luxuries are counted as necessities, a sense of repletion or dissatisfaction is often felt which make us blind to the everyday, commonplace favors that we enjoy.

Make a list of the essential and vital boons with which your life is blessed, and your heart will begin to glow with thankfulness.

It is no accident that “think” and “thank” come from the same root. Thanklessness is usually the result of thoughtlessness. But we are more apt to be thoughtless about the favors that come from God through the working of his beneficent laws than about the material gifts that come from the hand of a fellow man.

Stevenson has well said: “Keep your eyes open to your mercies. That part of piety is eternal, and the man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.

Above all, the true Thanksgiving is thanks-living, in the deed of the hand as well as the word of the lip. By giving someone else a reason for thankfulness through your kindness, you provide a proper outlet for the brimming, overflowing gratitude of your own heart.

For the common prosperity, for your individual blessings, for what you have not as well as what you have, “in everything give thanks.”

— Rev Robert J Pilgram of Pittsburgh

About this story

Source publication: Greene Iowa Recorder

Source publication date: November 25, 1914

Filed under: 1910s, Culture & lifestyle, Letters & postcards, Newspapers, Vintage Thanksgiving

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