Thanksgiving 2013 by Victor J. Banis

victor recentIf you are like me, you find it easy most days to focus on what we lack or need or wish for – so, what better time than today to focus on what we have, the things we can be grateful for?

Did you sleep last night with a roof over your head – a real roof, I mean, and not just a bridge trestle or a piece of cardboard? If you did, give thanks – in our rich nation, many are not so fortunate.

Is there food in your belly – food you got without begging for it? Give thanks. Share it with those who are hungry. Too many are.

Is there someone with whom you can talk, someone with whom to share your day to day experiences, whether it is husband or wife, lover or friend, or even your dog? Be thankful – loneliness is a pernicious disease. It can kill the soul.

Can you hear when your friend talks. Can you respond in kind to him? Can you walk, if only across the room? Can you see, even if your eyes are not sighted? The heart sees too, often more clearly than what the eyes perceive. Be thankful for your heart – no man has ever devised a machine that works so long and so hard, with never a pause for rest or maintenance.

Be grateful for your literal heart, but be grateful, too, for the figurative one. Can you cry? Be glad for your tears, they are the evidence that you have a soul, that you can still feel and care. Some, apparently, do not. When you have stopped caring, about anything or anyone, then you are surely in a hell as dark and agonizing as any devised by Lucifer.

Give thanks for your health, in whatever state it may be. It is surely the height of self-indulgence to complain about being alive. Give thanks for the breath you inhale, for that is life itself that you are taking into your lungs.

happy thanksgiving 1Be grateful for the things that go wrong. Often these are life’s lessons in disguise.

Be grateful for those who misuse you. It is they who make your friends precious.

Do you have faith? Give thanks especially for that, for it too is a gift. Without it, every night is surely darker and harder to endure.

Have a happy and thankful Thanksgiving Day.


  • Sara, in either case, surely the human body is a miraculous machine, is it not? If the existence of a clock proves the existence of a clockmaker, then I have to think that our bodies – and our minds – are all the proof I need of the existence of God. I find it odd that people would rather believe all of that happened by some incredible coincidence of factors, and not by the hand of God. But I cannot pretend to any special wisdom, so I take no exception to the beliefs of others.

    Thank you all for the kind comments

  • Thank you, Victor. Working with the local homeless shelter, I’m so tuned in to how easy a life I have, even with a body that’s going downhill. My psychologist/neuroscientist husband would, I know, say that it’s our wonderful brains that never rest. Our loving hearts take little breaks in between beats!

  • Absolutely beautiful, Victor. I hope you don’t mind if I share it with some people. I also hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving day and that you enjoy many, many more of them. Best wishes to you, my friend.


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Born in Pennsylvania, raised in Ohio, lived most of my adult life in California (20 years Los Angeles area, 20 years San Francisco. 160 plus books, and counting.
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