Thanksgiving - For A Time Of Low Morale? ~ Random Waves of Insight
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Saturday, November 17, 2007

Thanksgiving - For A Time Of Low Morale?

Thanksgiving will be shortly upon us, and today I thought I'd explore its roots, but purely from a theoretical standpoint. You see, I got to wondering whether we have it easy living here in the future. The pioneers and settlers were making up things as they went along, doing the best they could, but here today we live by a tried and tested system that has been serving us and prior generations for decades upon decades. I thought about what life was like before thanksgiving.

There's a trick that is sometimes employed by those of a psychological persuasion when things aren't going so well. Say Sally, Bill, and Mike are building a castle. Everything's going along all right, but Bill and Mike start to get on each other's nerves. Pretty soon they're having an argument, and all the while time is ticking away on the unfinished palace. What's a girl to do?

Sally says, "Now Bill, Mike, stop it! I want you both to stop your fighting and listen to me. The only way we're going to get done on time is if we all work together. We can't go on fighting like this. So, now, Bill, I want you to think of something you like about Mike and tell it to him."

Bill hesitantly complies.

Sally continues, "Now, Mike, you think of something you admire about Bill, and tell that to him."

Mike complies.

"Now apologize and shake on it."

They do.

"All right, then, let's get back to work."

When times are tough, and negative feelings are building about something, whether it be a person, a job, or a situation, it's really helpful to take the time to think of what you do like about that thing. That gets you thinking positive, and getting things done is a whole lot easier when your mentality is upbeat.

I wondered what life would be like without Thanksgiving. We'd look forward to December's holidays, sure, and we'd still have had Halloween. But what's to fill the darkening, hastily cooling days of November? There might be a significant dip in morale. The air gets cold, the trees get stark, and things seem a bit gloomy. Maybe without Thanksgiving, most of us would be somewhat depressed, and the work of society as a whole would suffer. This just may have been the case before Thanksgiving came about. Then somebody got the idea to make a celebration of all the good things, seeing as how there were so many bad ones. They knew that holidays past had always helped to cheer people on in times of darkness.

"Say all, let's have a celebration of the many things we're glad about. We'll all sit down together and have a nice big meal. It'll be fun!"

"What's there to be glad about?"

"We'll, you're alive, aren't you? You've got your health. And we've got enough land and wood here to make a fine town. Doesn't that make you glad?"

"Well, yeah..."

"And what about all those other things..."

Pretty soon, things are looking up. Thanksgiving was a definite morale booster, so it stuck. And now we don't often think twice about it. It's just another step society has taken toward becoming a well-oiled machine.

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