Of all the American holidays I like Thanksgiving the best. For starters, it’s a secular holiday. Secular in the true sense of the term — not religious — and not in the way that secular is understood in India where it means “not Hindu.” In India, Islamic or Christian is secular but Hindu is not secular. In India, Diwali is not secular but Christmas is secular. But in the US, Christmas is not secular but Thanksgiving is secular. That is an important distinction.
But the main reason I like Thanksgiving is that it represents something that should be our perrenial attitude — that of gratitude for what we have. Certainly we wish we had more of the goodies of life but let’s also frequently pause and give thanks for all the good things we already have. I pause quite frequently and observe the simple fact that things are pretty good as they are. I ask myself “Isn’t this good?” and answer, “Yes, it’s good.”
That’s what I learned a long time ago. In Hesse’s book Siddhartha, the protagonist says to his friend Govinda, “the world is perfect in every moment.” The same idea is expressed thus in Desiderata: “And whether or not it is clear to you, no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.”