BEYOND: Being Thankful for Your Family


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Regardless of the national coronavirus health pandemic or the possibility of missing out on the holiday of Thanksgiving with family, these unprecedented times have only bolstered the importance of families. Whether it is mental health, emotional relationships or simply social needs, family can have a positive impact on how we view ourselves and the world around us. During what is usually a moment to come together with those you love (and disagree with about politics and football) hopefully it can instead be a teaching experience on the importance of loved ones.

            FamilyToday outlines the importance of family and why they matter in a recent article about relationships. The article focuses on how crucial family can be throughout the life of a child, and also acting as a bedrock of support during times of change as they grow older. Family can be an essential way in which people obtain resolve for their physical and emotional needs. Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs depicts these well, outlining how physical and emotional needs are the most important for development of a person. From simple things such as security, a place to live and the resources needed to survive, to being regarded as important, loved and wanted by those around you. Family offers a place in which we can have these critical needs met.

Families also depict good moral values for people to follow and a time such as Thanksgiving – in which abundance and sharing are key lessons – this can be especially so. Having people who can lead you to understand your place in society and the significance of being morally just is often overlooked, and your family, regardless of their personal beliefs, have shaped yours. Family is also a place where protection is paramount. Whether that protection be emotional or physical, having those we love around us and offering support is defining and influential no matter your age.

It is also important to note that most of our positions in our families have changed since we were children. Now, growing into adulthood, understanding your place as an advocate for the children around you is substantial. Being an advocate for those younger than us can have a real lasting effect on their upbringing, as well as our own sense of belonging. Lastly, family is a noteworthy place to obtain guidance on all aspects of life. Obtaining guidance from those with wisdom and years can often create a peace of mind with regard to our decisions, and during tumultuous times like these, this can be crucial.

            This pandemic has taken away so much from communities. Whether you are planning to have a regular Thanksgiving dinner or planning to do so over Zoom, this is a time to think alternatively. The experience of quarantine can be an educational one for ourselves and those we advocate for on a routine basis. Thanksgiving is a celebration of sharing and abundance, and by thinking alternatively, there is a chance to do some real good this holiday season. Food shelters are bracing for what could be a record turnout due to the coronavirus pandemic, as the economic toll on our communities has been great. Creating an alternative tradition of helping those who are less fortunate can not only create a great sense of belonging for yourself, but also teach the children around you the importance of being thankful for what they have. You could simply offer basic donations to the shelter, or even mask up and do your part as a volunteer. Regardless, options are available! But please, above all, try your best to keep yourself and others safe.

            It’s going to be different, hard, and extremely unfair, but it is only a holiday. Regardless of how you celebrate, your family will still exist. Those who love you will be by your side rooting you on as you continue to make the best of a crappy situation – and that makes all the difference.