Engaging in the Meaning of Thanksgiving: Cell Phones Down

When November hit, all that has been on my mind is food. Well that is pretty much all the time, but November provides one of America’s favorite holidays: Thanksgiving. We get to eat and relax. What can be better than that? Thanksgiving is in most of our minds all about just stuffing our faces with turkey, pies, and other foods and then passing out on the couch only to wake up again to eat. Eat, sleep, and repeat. But what many us do not realize about this special holiday is what it should really represent, and it is definitely not the idea of gluttony. Thanksgiving is taking the free time that the holiday does allow to reflect on our lives. We can reflect on the people and things we are thankful for. Family is an important aspect of it. For most of us, family is a support system that provides unconditional love. Family is a huge part of our thankfulness overall. Would Thanksgiving feel the same if we did not have family there? Or is the joy of the holiday truly about eating till our stomachs feel as if they would pop?

As college students, we are often faced with challenges of balancing all that goes on. But, it is easy to overlook just how good we have it. Forget the fact that as Americans we have more privileges than other countries, but right here in the U.S. , not everyone our age has the ability to attend college for various reasons. We all must overcome hardships, but every moment we go through only strengthens us. And for that, we should give many thanks.

So for the future Thanksgivings to come, let us put down our cell phones and other technology, let us talk. Talk with those we love and actually listen to what they have to say. Even if it is in between bites, being able to converse with others rather than text them will provide us a gift we have given away lately. Real, live, face-to-face conversations rarely exist now. Face-time is about as close as it gets now. I admit I am guilty about mass texting and tweeting instead of engaging in valuable quality time with those I encounter, but the challenge is being able to silence my phone and just talk. I love holiday season. It brings everyone together, but often only physically and not mentally. We can be thankful for our technology, but Thanksgiving is a holiday that gives far more than that.

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