My Dear NCNW Family,
There is something very meaningful about receiving a Thanksgiving message after Thanksgiving Day is over. It is a reminder that we should give thanks every day of our lives, not just on a day called Thanksgiving.
Alice Walker has said this about expressing one’s thankfulness: “Thank you is the best prayer that anyone can say. I say that a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, understanding.” Oprah Winfrey, another of our sheroes, has said this about being thankful. “Be thankful for what you have, you’ll end up having more. If you concentrate on what you don’t have, you will never, ever have enough.”
Of course, women and men of Faith are not only thankful for their blessings —and even their difficulties— they continuously voice their gratitude. It is important to acknowledge and even to be grateful for difficulties and challenges in our lives. Richelle E. Goodrich puts it this way: “Every once in a while, God allows you to stub your toe as a kind reminder to be grateful for the miraculous body attached to it.”
I believe it is our duty to have a practice of gratitude. However, there is so much evidence that a practice of gratitude is good for us. It will reduce our stress, it will make us feel better physically, it will increase our mental health, it will make us more likely to engage in self care, it will strengthen our relationships, it will contribute to better results for us on our jobs, and it will fill our lives with more joy.
There are countless ways to practice gratitude, not just on Thanksgiving but everyday. Here are three ways: 1) Keep a Gratitude Journal in which you write down what you are grateful for. 2) At the beginning of a meal that you have with others— family, friends, colleagues—have each person note just one thing they are grateful for. 3) Make it a practice to periodically write to a family member, a friend or a colleague to express gratitude for something they did, or just for who they are.
My dear NCNW family, among my countless blessings, I am thankful EVERYDAY for NCNW, our beloved organization. I am thankful EVERYDAY for each of you. I am thankful EVERYDAY for how we are called to work together in the interest of Black women, our families and our communities.
Onward with Thanksgiving!