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Grand Valley State University's Beacon Since 1963, Allendale, MI
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A month of giving thanks

I’ve never craved home-cooked meals more.

As Thanksgiving creeps nearer and nearer, I cannot help but dream about turkey and mashed potatoes, floating around in my head as my stomach begins to complain with groans and rumbles.

With elections being over and the month of supposed “giving thanks” upon us, there was an expectation that peace would be making an appearance in the not so distant future. Although it seems to have taken off, running for the hills along with the sanity of many a student. Projects, homework and group meetings seem to be dictating the lives of fellow classmates, acting as though Black Friday is now every day, and instead of deals, people are fighting for grades and against deadlines.

The holidays have always been busy, but people seem to forget, only remembering the blissful times and the eggnog. “No, no, I’ll wait to get her a present” or “I’ll think about that later” are popular sayings that are always sworn never to be said again, but somehow have a way of recurring every year.

And as far as Thanksgiving, it can be hard to give thanks. What is there to be thankful for? The fact that George Lucas sold Lucasfilm as well as the rights to do another “Star Wars” to Disney? The fact that Kristin Stewart hasn’t changed her facial expression in five years?

Let’s downsize our “thanks” and think about things that relate directly to us: A couple of wondrous clichés like family, friends and good health come to mind. How about the fact that we’re in college? For music, our talents and abilities, or the fact that “The Bachelor” is on Hulu, so my roommates can’t see me watching it and openly mock me. There’s much more than deadlines and pages of to-be written papers to be thankful about.

Being lucky is not about being fortunate, rather, it is about looking past the obvious and sometimes finding the best in the worst. Simply by being aware – of this month of thanks, of others, and of the growing and sensitive world around us, can help guide us on a path to happiness. What happened to “giving from the heart?” There are scarce situations where people are found volunteering with no motivations. It’s quid pro quo at its worst.

“Be nice” has been a reoccurring theme in my columns. Funny, I never thought that I would write about a topic so much. But countless reminders seem to be necessary sometimes, especially in this competitive and often chaotic world that we live in. Alas, I cannot write about such a topic continuously for a year (trust me, I’ve thought about making it a challenge for myself), and therefore, I give up the role of sweet, old grandmother whose answer is always “treat others the way you want to be treated.” Retiring both my image and the message that I often present, I hand this role over to you.
sschoch@lanthorn.com



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