The ritual of giving thanks has been a human tradition for millenniums. The Druids, the ancient Egyptians, the Hebrews, the American Indian, and countless cultures around the world have been giving thanks through ritual for generations. The celebration of giving thanks does not require a belief in a higher power, giving thanks to friends and family for the benefits they bring is also a noble gesture on a special day. But it would be disingenuous not to acknowledge that the foundation of thanksgiving rituals are based in the spiritual beliefs of people around the world.
“Our Creator…Shall continue to dwell above the sky, and this is where those on the earth will end their thanksgiving.” ~Seneca Indians
“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name. For the Lord is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” ~ Judiasm
“..for nothing be anxious, but in everything by prayer, and by supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God” ~ Christianity
“O you who believe! Eat of the good things that We have provided for you, and be grateful to God…” ~ Islam
“…the worthy person is grateful and mindful of benefits done him. This gratitude, this mindfulness, is congenial; to the best people.” ~ Buddhism
“When a man is born, whoever he may be, there is born simultaneously a debt to the gods, to the sages, to the ancestors, and to men.” ~ Hinduism
When times are good, we often forget to be thankful; when times are difficult, we often lose sight of what we have to be thankful for. Enjoy the video selections below in preparation for America’s national day of thanksgiving.
The original music and photography in the following video is an affirmation of all we have to be thankful for, and the inspiration we can attain by doing so.
This video is a montage of classical music and poetry which, through its simplicity, raises awareness in the power of giving thanks.
This video is a performance by Rufus Wainwright of the Leonard Cohen song “Hallelujah” which may be familiar to many people from the movie Shrek.
On Thanksgiving, remember the American men and women who are serving their country. As the brief video below explains, it’s not about politics, it’s about appreciation.
Finally, the video below is about six minutes and was created by a young man, Jonah Levy, and documents his family on Thanksgiving after his mother’s death.
Originally published 11/20/08