By PJ O’Connor, President, OC Reilly, Inc.

(Nov. 21, 2022)–Most of us recall the lessons we learned as schoolchildren about the origin of Thanksgiving, where the Pilgrims sat down with Native Americans to share a meal in peace and harmony.  The long legacy of the American Thanksgiving is much richer than that, however.

The native communities had celebrated festivals of thanks for harvests and to safeguard against harsh winters long before European settlers came ashore on this continent.  The Pilgrim story we all know actually has more to do with rejoicing over the end of a drought and the unexpected arrival of provisions from across the ocean to stave off starvation.

In the late 1700s, a national observance of thanks was decreed in honor of ratification of the new U.S. Constitution, and in 1863 President Lincoln set the fourth Thursday in November as an official Thanksgiving holiday, to commemorate the Union’s victory at Gettysburg during the Civil War.

The point here is to demonstrate that, from age to age, people across this land have had many reasons and many opportunities to offer thanks for the bountiful blessings we enjoy.  This year is no different.  It doesn’t take more than a few seconds to stop, think, remember, and rediscover a trove of personal reasons to be thankful.

Whether it’s a lucky break, an unexpected gesture of friendship, a career that offers challenge and fulfillment, the smiles and warmth of family, or simply the gift of another day to be alive, let’s find time between the parades, football, turkey and stuffing to truly honor the day for its given purpose – to simply and sincerely give thanks.

From everyone on the OC Reilly team, Happy Thanksgiving!

© 2022 OC Reilly, Inc.