Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving. – W. T. Purkiser

How do you show that you are thankful for a gift? Use it, of course. Teach someone what you have been taught.

How do you show that you are thankful for a gift? Use it, of course. One way would be to teach someone what you have been taught. What other ways can you show thankfulness?

What does that mean?
In the USA, this will post on Thanksgiving day. Initially it was the celebration of actually having survived the year, with enough food to last the winter.

Since then it has become, among other things, the starting gun for the shopping season, a day of gluttony, of family gatherings, and sports. Sometimes more than one of the above.

But what other blessings or bounties have we had during the year? Is there a specific day remember, and be thankful for these? But the quote implies that there is a little more to it than that.

The quote says that what is truly important is what we do with our blessings, our bounties, our gifts, or whatever you wish to call them. If we are truly thankful, we should put them to good use.

Why is being thankful important?  
It is nice to acknowledge our gifts, and where we believe they came. But that’s usually not why we get or have gifts. Could you imagine getting a tool as a gift, and then putting it in a drawer, never to be used? Yes you might have said thanks, but the actual thanks is in using.

How much would you believe a ‘thanks’ you got for giving someone a gift, and then saw them stick it in a drawer, and not give it a second look? Kind of like ties or sweaters you gave your dad, right? It doesn’t feel all that good, does it? I know it doesn’t feel good when it happens to me.

Now think of it from the other side. How do you make people feel when you get a gift, and you say ‘thanks’ but never use it? That said, what can you do with another novelty tie, or ugly sweater? But still, it is in the use that the true appreciation of the gift is expressed.

That, in my opinion, is what the quote is trying to get across. It is trying to get you to think beyond simply mouthing the words, and to take action. If you are gifted as a musician, would your music teachers know you are thankful for their help if you kept your instrument in the closet, or if you played it every once in a while?

Where can I apply this in my life?
We all have gifts, talents, abilities, and things we just do well. I don’t know where some of these come from, but others are honed by years of practice. Who taught you, and how do you show your thanks to them? Even if they aren’t around, what can you do to celebrate their gift to you?

My wood working skills were a gift from my grandfather, who taught me nearly all of what I know. The things I make are my way of showing my thanks for his effort in dealing with an ADHD kid with sharp objects in his hands. I’ve done everything from crummy frames and book shelves to cabinet grade work, in large part to him and his patience.

When I work on a car, I am demonstrating the help of my uncle and my brother, both of whom have helped me learn over the years. In some ways, I have surpassed them, after years of practice and poor decision-making when selecting cars. But I am thankful each time I fix something.

What have others done to help you and how do you show that thankfulness for their time and effort? What they gave you was their way of giving to you. I believe that what you do with that gift is your gift back to them. I believe that it is just as good to help others as it is to help the person who gave to us.

Now would be a good time to grab some paper. Take a moment and write down some of the gifts you are most thankful for in your life. Put a mark next to gifts which you can use. Try to get at least a couple of gifts on the list on which you can act. Are you ready to continue?

Think about these gifts, whether they are skills, abilities, or actual implements and tools, and how you can use them to show your thankfulness. We can use our skills to assist just as well as we can use a tool or other implement we may have received.

One thing the quote doesn’t mention is how we use our blessings or bounties. If we are just starting, nothing we can do will compare to what the teacher has given us, so all we can do is offer them a token. But if we try to use our ability for another, we can be of some use, right?

Think about the things for which you are thankful. Now think about how you can demonstrate that thankfulness in a way which benefits others. I would suggest picking one and trying it. You could even start right now, if you wanted. If not, take a moment now and plan when you will do it.

From: Twitter, @AR_Foundation
confirmed at :…/227290.html
Photo by Lars Plougmann

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2 Responses to Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.

  1. anupturnedsoul 28 November 2013 at 5:04 pm #

    Brilliant post!

    I don’t live in the USA, so Thanksgiving is foreign. But considering that it’s a holiday which happens just before that gift giving extravaganza, where lots of thank yous get passed around. It’s all a bit bonkers. And you’ve brought some much needed sanity to this crazy world in your post.

    I am one of those people who confirms what others say to me by watching their actions. I also apply that to myself, because my actions reveal what I truly feel. And I love how you correlated that to being thankful for receiving a gift.

    What a wonderful mind you have, a gift for thinking!

    • philosiblog 30 November 2013 at 5:00 pm #

      Indeed, so many people forget to apply the observation and confirmation step to themselves.

      As for my mind, it has been honed for multiple decades. Solving the problems of other people is how I put food on the table. My primary weapon is software, but I get plenty of practice in other realms. Do anything for decades and decades, and you’re bound to get good at it, eventually. 8)

      Thanks for stopping by, for reading, and for leaving such an insightful comment.

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