Editorial for 22 November: Take time to give thanks

Today many of our friends and family in the United States
will take time out to indulge in hefty portions of turkey, ham, yams, green
bean casserole, pumpkin pie and more as they take the day off from their busy
jobs to celebrate Thanksgiving.

Many people in the Cayman Islands – natives and expats –
will also tuck in to special dishes and bow their heads in thanks this evening,
after work.

Unfortunately in the US, Thanksgiving has become an occasion
for culinary gluttony instead of a time reflecting on what people have in their
lives to be thankful for.

Four hundred or so years ago in the new land of North
America, people were just trying to survive, and they sat down with several
Native Americans to have a mostly meagre dinner of corn, squash, wild turkey,
venison and flat bread. And then they prayed in thanks, to their native friends
for showing them how to grow most of what was on their table.

Today, in the United States, Thanksgiving has become the official
start of all things material as retailers slash prices and offer deals for
Black Friday, the largest shopping day of the year in the run up to Christmas.
It would appear that some of our friends to the north have lost focus of what
Thanksgiving is all about.

In the Cayman Islands we are establishing our own tradition
of Thanksgiving, which will be held the first weekend in December.

It is hoped that we will never lose sight of things to be
thankful for – the love of family and friends, a safe hurricane season, the
blessing of waking up each morning, health, life, the sea, skies and the
opportunity to live in a democracy where we are allowed to vote for those who
lead us.

If you are celebrating Thanksgiving today, take a moment and
reflect on all we have to be thankful for. As we celebrate Cayman Thanksgiving
in a few days time, carry on with that reflection and open your home to those
who may not be as fortunate.

While it is good to set aside a special time to give thanks,
we should all be thankful every day of the bounty we have been given and our
good fortune to call this place home.



  1. Today’s editorial got it absolutely right. After migrating here over three decades ago, I have come to the same conclusion about the annual Thanksgiving observance. Not many seem to focus on the real meaning of Thanksgiving – even though some have been so blessed with this world’s goods.

    There are two main elements here to Thanksgiving. One is the opportunity for business to make lots of money and the other is the opportunity for individual to spend lots of money. The selling and the buying will continue from now until the Christmas season.

    It is most amazing to witness the hundreds of shoppers – some who actually camp-out overnight in the shopping malls – in a mad rush to buy up on-sale items. With a display of lawless some have actually been trampled because of the stampede to get ahead of others. This gives some idea about where the emphasis is at this time.

    However, to be fair, so many individuals, organizations, churches, associations, and businesses have generously donated time, food, money, clothing, and other necessities to victims of super-storm Sandy which reeked astronomical havoc on thousands. Those who rose to the occasion deserve high praise and appreciation in a very special way on this Thanksgiving day.

    I sincerely hope that Cayman’s Thanksgiving will be truly an occasion to be thankful for freedom, life, health, home, family, faith, various blessings, deliverance from natural disasters (hurricanes, flooding, etc), and other things as appropriate.

    I wish you all God’s blessings and a happy Thanksgiving when it comes.

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