THE TRADITION OF THANKSGIVING DAY:
In the United States, Thanksgiving is an annual holiday observed on the fourth Thursday of November. It is a day of feasting, and it often serves as a public expression of thanks to God in the form of a prayerful eating of food. It commemorates the Pilgrims’ celebration of the good harvest, and a friendly relationship between Plymouth Colonists and Native Americans in 1621. The first national Thanksgiving Day, proclaimed by President George Washington was celebrated on November 26, 1789. In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made Thanksgiving an annual holiday.
GRATITUDE IS AN ACKNOWLEDGMENT:
The word “Thanks” is used to acknowledge the feelings of gratitude for a benefit that we have received; grateful acknowledgment of something received by or done for one. Giving thanks is an act that reveals the spiritual nature of a relationship between two or more entities involved in interactions. The term ‘spiritual’ describes the nature of a relationship, partnership, an association, or bonding between two living entities based upon characteristics such as cooperation, mutual assistance, tolerance, sympathy, compassion, voluntary subservience, and functional subordination to provide some benefit to the members of a biotic community participating in the biotic interactions at a given place, and in a given environment. The human organism represents a biotic community of interacting living cells. It is estimated that the human body consists of about 100 trillion cells, and the human body carries about ten times as many bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. These microbes are important to the health of humans. Man has no cortical awareness of the biotic interactions that take place inside his gut and the colonization of his gut by several kinds of microbial flora. The biotic interactions between the gut cells of the human body and the bacterial cells have the characteristics of spiritual biotic interactions.
The biotic interactions take place at cellular level and are dependent upon the conscious nature of living cell that gives it the ability to recognize the presence of other living cells in its external environment. The anatomical organ known as brain does not play any role in these spiritual biotic interactions inside the human gastrointestinal tract. Each time we eat a meal, consume any food or drink, the act of eating represents ‘Thanksgiving’. Man has no choice and has no control over the beneficial effects of his eating and in expressing his thanks to the microbial flora of the gut with whom he had established a mutually beneficial spiritual relationship. Whether we like it or not, whether we know it or not, man lives by providing a Thanksgiving meal during all the days of his existence. Each meal functions as a serving of ‘Gratitude’. While human existence is dependent upon Lord God Creator’s Power/Force/Energy known as Mercy, Compassion, Grace, and ‘KRUPA’, man may or may not publicly express his thanks in acknowledgment of that Compassion. However, man has no escape from the act of giving thanks.
Dr. R. Rudra Narasimham, B.Sc., M.B.B.S.,
Kurnool Medical College, Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh, India,
M.B.B.S. Class of April, 1970.