Community Family Health Holiday Opinion

What Are You Thankful for This Thanksgiving? (Op-Ed)

If you have an opportunity to spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, do so. Do not neglect connecting with them, sharing a meal and making memories.

Est. Read Time: 3 mins

Thanksgiving is a time, at least once a year, to give thanks for life.

It’s a special time to spend with family and friends over a meal, to reflect on what we have and what others may not.

The First Thanksgiving at Plymouth, an oil on canvas by Jennie Augusta Brownscombe (1914)

The history of Thanksgiving dates back to 1621, when the Plymouth colonists and Wampanoag Native Americans shared an autumn feast together. In 1863 President Abraham Lincoln officially proclaimed a national Thanksgiving Day to be held every November.

This Thanksgiving I am truly grateful I am alive and able to function day-to-day. Life, for all of us, has its ups and downs, but it’s how we handle those challenges that defines who we are.

Be grateful and thankful you are still breathing, have a roof over your head and money in your pocket. For in today’s chaotic world, nothing is simple.

Take whatever physical, mental, financial or social challenge you may be facing and create a way to overcome that obstacle this Thanksgiving, and push forward in life.

I personally know a few things about the sanctity of life this Thanksgiving I previously did not fully understand. I’ve experienced how quickly our physical lives can flash before our eyes. I’ve learned to value life, family and friends and give thanks for their selfless concern for my well-being.

Family and friends have truly showered their compassion on me, opening up my heart to how caring others can be. Through their concern, I have become a more loving and thankful person.

It’s not only the material things in life to be grateful for this Thanksgiving; it’s life, in and of itself. Take each day and make the most of it. Take whatever struggle you may be encountering and use it to inspire those around you.

If you have an opportunity to spend time with family and friends this Thanksgiving, do so. Do not neglect connecting with them, sharing a meal and making memories.

And remember, life is short but sweet. All of us have something to be thankful for, regardless of our life and circumstances. Take the sunrise and sunset and the simple breaths of air you breathe and be thankful you are still alive.

If you see or know someone in need this Thanksgiving, assist them. Provide what they may need. Not everyone has what you may have, that could uplift another person’s spirits and offer them hope.

Thank God for what he has provided and continues to provide for you, your family and friends. He cares, so give thanks this Thanksgiving Day.

Bath resident Mark Reccek began reporting in 2010. He is a former distressed debt reporter for Prospect News, an online publisher of stock market and financial news. He also serves as a web reporter for WFMZ and the Lehigh Valley Press weekly newspapers. A Lehigh Valley native, Mark graduated from Lehigh University with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in political science. He also holds a law degree from the University of Detroit Mercy School of Law. He is a veteran of the United States Marine Corps, having served active duty from 1996-2000.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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