EVERY DAY, I wake thankful for all that I have and the life I am fortunate enough to lead. Though I am not wealthy by U.S. standards, compared to the vast majority of people in this world, I am rich beyond imagining. I live in a relatively spacious, well-roofed home that is heated in winter and air conditioned in summer. On demand, hot water pours through my faucets. I have access to technology that allows me to cook food, make coffee, send and receive email, and share my writing with others. I have a challenging job that provides a regular paycheck and excellent benefits. Overall, I live a safe and sheltered life. On top of all this, I am in a loving long-term relationship and remain connected with my children and grandchildren, though they live in different cities and states.
Sure, my life isn’t perfect; it has it’s difficulties and challenges. But, seen as though standing at the top of a mountain looking down on all of life, it is plain to see that I am fortunate, lucky, blessed in the same ways so many of us are in the U.S. — in the same ways that I hope you are also blessed.
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This week, the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is not only a time for gathering with family and feasting on rich foods. For me, it is also a reminder to maintain that mountain-top perspective and to stay present in gratitude. It is a reminder to be generous and kind to others and to “pay forward” some of the blessing-luck we have received. It is a time to sow love, not fear, with clear eyes and an open heart, a time to go forward in thanks and gratitude, wherever that path forward may lead.
Writing is one way we can share our gratitude with one another. If you agree, write to one or more of the prompts below and then share your writing and insights with others.
Thanksgiving Journaling Prompts:
- Look around wherever you are right now, and write down all the things, relationships, abilities, and opportunities that you have in this moment. Keep writing until you run out of words. How long is your list?
- Go back and read your list, circling the ten items that are most important to you.
- Freewrite for ten minutes about the items you’ve circled. Why are they so significant to you? What do you imagine life would be like without them? Is it possible to share some of these items with others? If so, what might be the most effective way of sharing?
Thanksgiving Creative Writing Prompts:
- Nonfiction — Think back to all the Thanksgivings (or, celebrations centered around gratitude) in your life. Which one stands out? Who was there? Write a scene depicting that event. Include quirky family characters, heated conversation, the sounds and smells of that day. Include some reflection on the meaning that day has for you now.
- Fiction — Write a scene in which you are a time traveling anthropologist from the future, and you have come back in time to study the practice of gratitude celebrations and family gatherings, which no longer exist in the same form. What do you discover?