As Thanksgiving approaches…
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As Thanksgiving approaches…

WARNING: There could be an outbreak of thanks that will alter the course of our civilization.

The word least said is “thanks.” I hear it less and less after simple over-the-counter transactions. When the items are scanned efficiently and the total appears on a screen momentarily and the cash or credit card is processed routinely, I get asked if I want plastic or paper. Thanks are less automatically rendered or offered.

In general, we are less disposed to thank and less likely to be thanked. No, I am not a social scientist with documentation for the trend. I am just a general observer of the day-to-day encounter. Thanks can’t really be programmed into daily dealings. To my mind, though, thanks seem like a good deal.

WARNING: An outbreak of thanks any day will alter the course of our civilization.

Thanks were my introduction to Hebrew School. Mr. Lourie promised if we memorized Modeh Ani, a dozen words of thanks appropriate when we leave the bed covers in the morning, we would receive a little book as a token. “Prayers, Blessings and Hymns” was the title. Forty years later I still have it and the intended lesson is not lost. Let the day start and be punctuated with thanks.

Thanks are the staple of the Amidah, the central prayer, and Birkat, the grace after a meal, and most every b’racha, blessing.

There is gomel, a special expression of thanks when you come to the Torah after a life-threatening trauma. It is rarely invoked, but the rate of thanks is down as a whole.

WARNING: There could be such an outbreak of thanks that will alter the course of our civilization.

It is going to take some doing, but it is a priority, as far as I am concerned.

It could begin at the family table, to thank the person who fussed over our meal. Youngsters would suffer no harm to thank the parents who brought them to where they are. Students could thank their teachers. Patients could thank nurses and doctors. We could all be more thankful for the ability to function half way decently.

We are vulnerable creatures with needs. We complain about our situation often and when our needs are not met we howl. We can change our condition, improve our perspective, multiply satisfaction, and make kindness contagious.

First, we have to read the label available to all who take the time and invest the patience.

WARNING: When there is an outbreak of thanks, it will significantly alter the course of our civilization.

Thanks, Oh Powerful Force above all in the world, for another day! And for another November to be at a Thanksgiving table!

Wishing you and yours the happiest of Thanksgivings.

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