By Brian Buckner
Today is Thanksgiving.
But wait, take a look at my photograph. I know John, the boy you above. I love him. He is standing in front of his home on a steep hillside in rural Ecuador. His day will not be like yours or mine.
Thanksgiving is a holiday those of us who have lived in the U.S. have enjoyed with our families our entire lives. We all cook, and Edie and I have heavy hospitality industry in our backgrounds. Our daughter and son-in-law always joined us at our home in Louisiana for the event. We would cook all morning eat, nap and then play games and lounge with several desserts available for sampling.
This year is different. We don’t want to cook a huge meal; it would remind us too much of earlier Thanksgivings and frankly, would be a waste with only two people celebrating.
A friend asked us to go hiking today but it didn’t work out. Sometimes it’s hard to get everyone’s schedules to mesh.
We have decided to just eat bread and drink water this year. That will help remind us of how much we have and how little some others have, both good things to keep in mind. We are going to take a bus out to el campo and spend the day visiting with the indigenous families we have come to know and love. There are no finer people in the world that I know of. We’ll be putting up some serious miles as we hike the countryside. We will hand out good sweet things to eat to the children and their parents as we come across them. We will be merchants of compassion and understanding, gifting to all.
We will bow our heads as we take our bread and water, giving our thanks for all the many blessing we have received in this life but particularly, in this past year. We will be more humble tomorrow as we examine ourselves and our thoughts, wondering where and with who we will next have the opportunity to make a positive impact, thereby increasing the quality of all the lives involved in the encounter.
We will also give thanks to each other, remembering each and every one of the 41 years we have been married and that each and every one of them has been a gift to us. We will give thanks for that time and also hope to be gifted another 41 years together.
We will consider the stewardship we provide, judge it, to see if we are using it wisely.
We will judge no others except favorably on this day and hope that is a practice we can continue as the days turn to months and the months to years.
We will find goodness in the hearts of all others, overlooking ANYTHING that makes them uniquely individual and different from us in this life.
There are other things we will do and be thankful for today, but that’s more than enough to write about for now.
If you got this far, know this: I wrote this little list for Edie Buckner and myself. I wrote it for us so we could be sure and stay focused on what’s really important in this world on a day set aside to give thanks. I did not write it for anyone here. However, if you find even one suggestion on my personal list useful, I invite you to take it and share it with others as I have shared it with you.
We wish and hope all the best things for all peoples on this very special day.
That includes you and your entire family.
During Thanksgiving Day, please keep my little friend John in your thoughts. He’s the little guy pictured at his home in my photograph.
Happy Thanksgiving to you all!! May you have blessings all your days!