Tomorrow, in Canada, we celebrate Thanksgiving. It’s a day when you put all else aside, gather with people you love, and give thanks for the things that you have been blessed with in your life. I know there’s some important historical implications to this day, but in my family, this basically means that we eat lots of food and spend time together.
One time-honoured tradition we never really did in my family, was the one where you go around the table, one at a time, and say what you were thankful for that year. Whether it’s being able to come together during a snow storm, having been blessed with a child, or getting an A on a paper we just made the deadline for, we never really took the time to do it. We didn’t need to, or at least I never felt like we needed to, because being together with these people, my family, that’s what I’ve always been most thankful for, and I assumed being with them said all of that.
But then I remembered a quote that I always loved and always tried to live by: “if you love someone, you should say it. People forget.”
While I know my family knows I love them, without it needing to be said, I realized that they might not know the reasons why I’m thankful to have them in my life. There are many things that I have in this life that I am so incredibly grateful for, and things I could mention going around a table full of turkey, stuffing and gravy, but when it comes to the people who surround such a table, I think it would be most worthwhile to let them know just exactly how much they mean to me and why I’m thankful to know them. Because it’s true, people forget, and we shouldn’t ever stop letting them know the reasons why – we will never know how much time we have left to even have the chance.
My point here today is simple, and what I want from all of you this year is this: if you feel something deep in your soul, that moves you in some way and that makes you feel happy, whatever it is, then you should express it however you possibly can – to create this feeling outside of you. To let it fade within you is a waste, because when you let it out, you’ve no idea how easily you can change someone’s day, or perspective, by simply saying, “hey, I appreciate everything that you do.” “I’m thankful to have you in my life.”
I recently read an article about a young girl responding to bullying by arriving early to school one day so that she could place post-its on every one of her schoolmate’s lockers, writing uplifting and positive thoughts on them, like, “Wow! You’re gorgeous,” “You’re awesome,” “Love yourself,” and I remember thinking “what a beautiful way to respond to hate.” We all feel low sometimes, we all feel bullied, and it’s through such simple words that we can completely make someone’s life just a little bit better and make someone feel truly valued; simple words that can create great love and purpose. Why don’t we all strive to do this? Why do we so quickly express the hateful and misguided thoughts, but hesitate to express the kind and loving ones? Why do we ever assume that someone knows all of the wonderful things we think about them, when we don’t take the time to tell them such things? I feel thankful every single day of my life, but how often do I say it out loud? How often do I express it to those who need to hear it?
I find power through writing, through words, it’s part of the reason I even bother to write a blog in the first place, and what I’ve learned through this writing is that we only regret the things we don’t say. The things we don’t do. However you feel it, my hope for you today in honour of this thanks-giving, is that you find someway to create the love and power within you outside of yourself. However you express it, however you choose to do so, I hope you let the people in your life, the ones who make you feel infinite, know exactly how much they mean to you. What you say has meaning, and it’s just as important to remember that saying nothing may mean more than you might think.
“If you love someone, you should say it. People forget.”