By Harry Pearse
Thanksgiving? An American holiday most international students have never celebrated. I think some don’t even really understand the concept of Thanksgiving. But for me, I find it quite gracious and humbling, in fact, but only if we thank our close ones in the right manner.
For Thanksgiving this year, I went to Maine with my best friends. The blissfulness of long cold walks where I can truly experience the extravagance and serenity of Spinoza’s God (nature), along with the rawness of staying in a cabin in the woods, away from the hectic reality we live every day. It is one thing to be able to spend some time just with friends, but to spend it with absolutely amazing people is something I am truly grateful for.
If my dad was here, I would thank him for the incomprehensible support he gives me. I wouldn’t thank him for helping financially or for that present he got me for my birthday. Yes, they are lovely things, but material can’t replace the inherent love that comes from your parents.
If I was spending it with my true love, I wouldn’t thank her for a gift or a bagel and coffee; I would thank her for her perfect imperfections, her love and that cute nickname she has given me, which the only person in the world that gets it, is you.
Thanksgiving, at least for me, is about this appreciation of unselfishness, a genuine gratefulness for beautiful natural things which money can’t buy. A raw notion of stripping away all of the barriers that we put up to protect ourselves from this scary and daunting reality that we live in, and having these people still there for us, taking us for who we really are.
Thanksgiving is about showing gratitude to that person, friend, lover, who, when you were in complete doubt of yourself, and you could barely function, was there for you. They didn’t just tell you it’s okay and what they thought, but they just listened and hugged you, and gave you the comfort of their understanding, when you didn’t really understand why you were so upset.
We should give thanks to the people who put up with our shenanigans, the people who smile at us and laugh when we make an awful joke (it’s usually me making the bad joke). The people who listen, the people who genuinely care, the people who only want the best for us, the people who would do something for us with no expectation of a return for such a deed.
Everyone has that person. I think it is absurd that we only show our appreciation to them one day a year, when it should be all the time. But Thanksgiving is a perfect opportunity to really say cheers for their divinity of natural unselfishness and, in simpler terms, just being them.
However, if you have this depressing thought that you have no one who shows such character as I have described, I believe that you do. If you are in a fight or a sticky situation with a friend or loved one, deeply think past their negative traits, remember why you love them and why you are friends with them. It may be something so simple like that one time you called them when you were hysterically upset, and they calmed you down, made you feel at ease and bathed you with a feeling of contentment.
I don’t think that giving thanks should be a forced thing, not at all. But I think we have to put our own guard and our own ego down for a ‘quick sec’ and assess the beauty of that person. Shakespeare once said “a friend is one that knows you as you are, understands where you have been, accepts what you have become, and still gently allows you to grow.”
This is my giving thanks to my phenomenally genuine friends. What were you thankful for? Who was it for? Really think about this. And if it was someone far far away, then send them a message of appreciation.
Hope you had a happy Thanksgiving, guys!