Thanksgiving is celebrated today (November 24th 2022) in the United States (and some other parts of the Western world). 

I never gave thanks once during thanksgiving when I lived in the United States.

I knew that Thanksgiving is a holiday to give thanks. Gratitude was a word which I did not give much importance. Yes, I knew that this was the day the pilgrims gave thanks to the harvest in 1621. Yes, I knew that this is the day Americans give thanks to the people and things in their lives. Yet, it did not occur to me to follow suit and offer thanks.

I had a lot to be thankful for – I was studying (and later working) in the USA – a fraction of my peers would have such an amazing opportunity. I had a lovely and non-judgmental family who supported me through my ordeals, gave me everything I asked for and much more. I had my basic needs covered, I got plenty of opportunities to play bridge (the game I love), I had the opportunity to travel a lot, I had amazing teachers … Name it and I had it.

Yet, my default operating system focused on all the minuses in my life. As a result, I was perennially unhappy. I envied others.

I hadn’t tapped into the miracle cure: gratitude.

Preaching to the Choir

Writing about gratitude to the is like talking about the benefits of exercise to Virat Kohli. 

Yet, one can never get too much of gratitude in their lives. The more gratitude the better. Gratitude is the best drug there is – it is addictive and good for well-being. 

The more I read about gratitude, the idea of practicing gratitude slowly chiseled itself into my being. Consequently, I think there can never be too many posts extolling the importance of gratitude. 

Medha Shri gave one key rule in the first writing workshopdon’t give generic gyan. However, as far as virtues are concerned, dear fellow writer, feel free to write about generic gyan as much as you’d like – I’d love to read it and further reinforce the idea into my being. 

I Found it Difficult to Write 1000 Gratitude Entries

I read this article by Danny Forrest where he wrote about the time he wrote 1000 gratitude entries.

He encouraged his readers to write 1000 gratitude entries as well. He suggested writing down 10 categories, and writing 100 entries under each category. Now, I must mention that I tried writing 1000 gratitude entries once and failed. In 2016, I tried writing 1000 gratitude entries after being inspired by reading The Magic by Rhonda Byrne (who is best known as the author of The Secret). I looked at my 2016 entries – I was able to muster only 167 entries out.

I tried the 1000 entry exercise again in June 2022. I wrote down 10 categories. I even prepped the pages, by writing down the numbers 1 through 100 on each line. Nope. I couldn’t finish it. The jarring part: Some of the categories included my family. I couldn’t write 100 good things to write about my family. How shocking! And sad, when I think about it.

I tried this exercise again and the third time was a charm. The details of this exercise merits a separate article, but suffice to say that I persevered through 1000 entries over several days.

I intend to do this again – I am convinced that practicing gratitude on steroids will rewire my brain from complaining to appreciating. 

Thank You

I can never thank enough.

Swamiji most generously opened His blog for others to write. This was an act of paramount munificence – Swamiji’s words are meticulously crafted – they are a work of art, leaving aside the life transforming aspect for a minute. Other articles can’t come close. Yet, He allowed others to have their voice. Magic happened: those who didn’t write (like me) started writing. 

I thank Pankaj and Nikunj for heading It can’t be easy – you take care of all the hard work behind the scenes and give out the finished product for readers and writers to enjoy.

I thank Medha Shri – not only do you write amazing newsletters, but you come up with innovative competitions and workshops – each of these brings out new writers. 

I thank everyone who responds to – you take kindness to a new level – I’ve often been tempted to write to you just to have a kind interaction 🙂 (Don’t worry, I haven’t done that!)

I thank everyone behind the scenes – you are unsung heroes who weave magic. 

Check Out These Two Lovely Thanksgiving Articles

Let me leave you with two lovely Thanksgiving articles by regulars.

Here is a heartwarming post by Peace Kindness giving thanks to one and all. Very touching, and very inspiring. 

And here is a story from the perspective of a turkey written by Subbu‘s (then) sixth-grade son Nitin. A staggering number of turkeys are slaughtered on this day of giving thanks. When my parents lived in the US in the late 1980s, finding vegetarian food at a restaurant was next to impossible. When I lived in the 2000s in the US, finding vegetarian food was difficult. The 2010s has seen a rise in vegetarian and vegan and plant-based foods, especially among the young. Articles like this one do their part in reducing the consumption of meat. Thank you, Nitin, for writing this. 

Image Credit: Cas Holmes on Unsplash