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The Journals are the premier publications for high-quality, hyperlocal news and advertising in Monmouth County, New Jersey

Nov 02, 2017

Business Matters: Thanks and Giving are Universal

Glen J. Dalakian, Sr.

In past years, I have written to remind us of the history behind the American Thanksgiving holiday, made official by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863. This year, I’d like to focus on the root of the words used to describe this federal holiday and how they might impact our professional and personal lives. “Thanks” should be a natural expression for any business owner who has found even the least amount of success. “Giving” is in the heart of every entrepreneur, as they truly give and serve others in many areas. In reality, Thanksgiving is a beneficial concept. Whether we do it in the context of an annual holiday or, better yet, we have the “attitude of gratitude” every day, most people would agree that Thanks and Giving are of universal benefit.

Why give thanks? Thankfulness affords us the opportunity to step out of the pressures of the moment, even at the most negative times. We can better evaluate our relationships and reflect on all we have to be thankful for, which can lead to an enhanced perspective on our business and our life. When we count our blessings, it releases positive emotions in us that can strengthen our resolve and even clear our minds for productive thoughts.

Why giving? Who among us couldn’t use more kindness and appreciation? What can you do this year to let clients, employees, friends, and family know just how much they mean to you? After all, most entrepreneurs know (or should know) they are not in it alone, and support from our personal relations and a solid team effort at work are key to profitability and long-term stability.

But let’s not forget the history. We can go back to the Pilgrims and Indians in 1621 and presumably the first Thanksgiving meal, or take it up to the American Revolution, when the Continental Congress designated days of thanksgiving throughout the year. In 1789, George Washington issued the first Thanksgiving proclamation by the U.S. national government. As for when it became a national holiday, Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to President Lincoln in September 1863, urging him to have the “day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival.” She explained, “You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritative fixation, to become permanently an American custom and institution.”

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend.” ~ Melody Beattie

Have a happy, healthy, and blessed Thanksgiving! Thanks for reading “Business Matters” each month in The Journal and for your many encouraging comments over the years.