by Evelyn O. Shih

I am thanksgiving. I mean, my name is “Thanksgiving”. I love to live in people’s minds. I am not a freeloader. If you let me in, I’ll bring lots of “goodies” with me such as joy, meekness, patience and peace, among others.

Unfortunately, many people dislike me and won’t let me in. You know, one’s mind can’t be blank, so while I am not in one’s mind. Complaint comes in right away and he brings lots of rotten things with him such as jealousy, arrogance, bad temper and depression, among others.

Most of the people try to deal with those negative things with all kinds of methods which ultimately fail. Actually, the solution is very simple. Just let me in and those negative things will run away in no time.

There is another kind of person who lets me dwell on their lips only. They’ll say, “Praise the Lord!” “Thank you, Lord!”

Unfortunately, they don’t have me in their minds, so their words are use-less, as complaint with its bitterness still occupies that space.

The most interesting thing is that I am very popular nevertheless. There is even a festival for me each year. I wondered how they celebrate me without giving me a resting place, so I chose to visit a rich family with many children. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t prefer rich people; I just thought they may have much to give thanks for, so I could answer my question.

I hid myself on the ceiling and waited for the right time to ceremoniously appear. After everyone was seated at the table, I heard a burst of happy shouting, “Wow!” That was my cue to make an entrance on center stage. Just when I was about to fly down, I noticed that everyone turned to look at the kitchen door where a big, golden-brown and shining turkey was being brought in on a silver plate.

The turkey saw me and said, “Hey, you only live on people’s lips, but look at me. I can enter their mouths and stay in their stomachs. So, they have come to call your festival, ‘Turkey Day’! I think it is a more appropriate name anyway.”

I didn’t know how to answer the turkey, yet I remembered there is also thanksgiving service in the churches. I could go there an feel welcome. I entered a church service, and, sure enough, the first prayer I heard began, “Dear God, I thank you!” I was so excited and prepared myself to enter this person’s mind. As I settled myself in his mind, I heard the speaker continue with, “…because I am not like the others…” Immediately, I was chased out with a hard fist and a slammed door.

I feel so lonely and so sad. Why don’t people like me? It is so easy to have me around. All you have to do is admit that all good things are from God and you have done nothing to deserve them, and, don’t compare what you have with what others have. Just trust that God has given you the best, though different from others’ blessings.

Didn’t I tell you that I am not a freeloader? If you accept me, I’ll bring you many “goodies” including peace and joy.