Giving thanks this Thanksgiving—with a little help from Dear Abby.

Giving thanks this Thanksgiving—with a little help from Dear Abby. November 25, 2014

Pauline Phillips, aka Abby

I wrote here last year about a Thanksgiving prayer you can say all-year round. And I was recently reminded again of the importance of giving daily thanks for the good in our lives, via my favorite spiritual primer, The Worldwide Laws of Life by John Templeton.

Templeton has written much about gratitude, advising us to “give praise and be thankful”, not in blind obedience to God, but because it “can open the door to the increased flow of abundance” in our own lives. Templeton believes that our actions create a feedback loop, recommending that we:

Say what is good and to give forth blessings, knowing that the moment we have spoken gratitude we may begin to receive.

In a chapter on gratitude, Templeton included a Thanksgiving letter by Pauline Philips who for years wrote the “Dear Abby” column under the pen name Abigail Van Buren. This poem (which I edited lightly) first appeared in 1991 and points out that we all have something to be thankful for.

Dear Readers:

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving. So let us pause for a moment today and make a mental note of all those blessings for which we can be thankful.

How is your health? You have a few minor complaints? Well, thank God they`re not major. If you`re reading this, you`re still here. You can probably think of at least one person who isn`t around this year. (I know I can.)

How`s your pocketbook? Thin? You`re not alone. But many people in much of the world are a lot poorer and have far less hope than we have in America.

Are you lonely? Well, the way to have a friend is to reach out to someone and try to be a friend. If nobody calls you, call someone. Go out of your way today to do something nice for another person. It`s a sure cure for the blues.

Are you concerned about your country`s future? Hooray! Our system has been saved by such concern—concern for fair treatment under the law. Our country may not be a rose garden, but it is far from a patch of weeds. You can worship in the church of your choice (or not worship at all if that`s your choice), cast a secret ballot and even criticize our government without fear of retribution.

As a final thought I`ll repeat my Thanksgiving prayer. Perhaps you will want to use it at your table tomorrow—let one of the children read it:

Heavenly father, we thank thee for food and remember the hungry.

We thank thee for health and remember the sick.

We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.

We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

May these remembrances stir us to service,

That thy gifts to us may be used for others. Amen.

May the spirit of Thanksgiving be shared by one and all! Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, and may God bless you and yours.



P.S. Why not invite a friend who lives alone to share a Thanksgiving meal-or better yet, call and say, “I`m coming to get you, and I`ll see that you get home.”

And a Happy Thanksgiving from me to you and your family, as well!

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