This time of year I start to think about the interconnectedness of all beings. It’s something about Thanksgiving and all the foods along with all the people who sit around my table who attempt to articulate what they feel thankful for during the year. But my mind wanders beyond my self and the immediate family. What if we really sent a message far and wide to all the thousands of people who contributed to our capacity to enjoy this meal?
Have you ever considered how many people are involved in the food we enjoy. There are farmers, truckers, packers, pickers, seed producers, those who produce the packaging for the seeds, those who sell the food, create the products that help food to grow, inspect the places that make the food safe to eat, produce the products like trucks and trains that enable transportation, produce the crates that carry food from one place to another, create the irrigation possibilities for moving water to grow the food – it is an endless stream of thousands who make your thanksgiving dinner, or any meal, possible. If you went around the table and also added in the thousands more who were behind the creation of the clothes, the tableware, even the table itself, and the house in which you gather, you would see you have an entire world to be grateful for.
What would happen if each of us sent forth a message of love and appreciation to every other being who had a hand in this feast, or in any meal we share? If you go to a restaurant or a café for this day the list grows exponentially. Even if you happen to be home and alone this day look around you and realize how supported you are by all who have had a hand in the creation of your life.
It is easy to think about what we miss during the holidays. From the perspective of the separate self we often experience losses and disappointments. But our true nature is part of a large enterprise of human endeavor — creation, sharing and interaction. Each of us has a place in any moment in time, no matter our limits and challenges. If we can take a moment to recognize one another, to send the light of appreciation to anyone who has touched our life journey, and know there are thousands of people sending such light to us, then we may discover a world where we can feel truly blessed and thankful for every blessing that comes our way. We tend to thank God when we say grace or a blessing at a meal – but aren’t we really thanking one another for playing a role through which we all are part of shared experience of life? God is like a flow that moves through us and serves us all in a myriad of ways.