Thanksliving – It’s the New Thanksgiving

22651765924_33bb14a935_oGratitude was a big theme at Campus Ministry’s annual Interfaith Thanksgiving Dinner—an event I’d been looking forward to ever since the first pumpkins started cropping up on people’s doorsteps this fall.

The annual event is one of the highlights of Campus Ministry’s programming here on campus. The entire Georgetown community is invited to share a delicious Thanksgiving meal in a beautifully decorated banquet hall and share reflective conversation on the topics of interfaith and gratitude. This year’s event was particularly interesting because guests were seated at random. So instead of sitting with friends and chatting the night away, guests were gently encouraged to meet new people and strike up conversation.

22912223709_8bf4df5ced_oOf course, as a celebration of Thanksgiving, gratitude would be an integral part of the night’s events. But Sarah Holland, our wonderful Interreligious Coordinator, challenged us all by asking not just, “What are you thankful for?” but also “How do you show that you are thankful for these things?”

Every year that I spend away from home, I realize more and more how many things I have to be grateful for. Sarah reminded me that gratitude is about more than simply counting your blessings. Sure, I may be thankful to pieces in my own heart, but what good does that do for those around me, those who make my blessings possible?

Gratitude is a lot like love—it is meant to be shared with others. Appreciation is a lot more meaningful when others know they are appreciated.

23171876242_fe7c2247c2_oAfter the meal, while we nursed our mashed potato and gravy-stuffed food bellies, Sarah stepped back on to the podium to share one last nugget of wisdom. In the spirit of grateful living, why not challenge ourselves to go out of our way to express our gratitude? Thanksgiving may come around but once a year, but Thanksliving can be a way of life.

Written by Shannon Chai, C’18