Beyond Giving Thanks by Saranya Kari

As another year comes to an end, we approach the season’s first significant celebration: Thanksgiving. This holiday reminds us to honor our families and the multitude of blessings in our lives. My heart is full of thanks for the countless gifts I’ve received, the opportunities that have come my way, and for the myriad of unspoken joys that time doesn’t permit me to enumerate

This Thanksgiving, though, is a little different for me. I am looking at the concept of gratefulness through a different lens. Color me SAFE has always stood for protecting children and children’s and family rights. We have worked with countless families to help them through tough times, and we strive to provide only the best care for our community.

As the Senior Intern, I have worked in endless avenues to help Color me SAFE through blog work, Instagram reels, and even participating in local community activities. And I must say, I am beyond grateful.

This year, Thanksgiving takes on a new significance, shaped not only by personal reflections but also by the events unfolding around me. It brings comfort to know my family is safe, as are the families of those near me. My thankfulness extends to the essentials—food, water, shelter—and the comforts that enrich our daily lives. Often, it’s these basic needs we overlook, yet they are the very foundations of our well-being

The world around us influences us. We are one with it, as much as we are on our own. We can shy away from difficult topics and times, but what we cannot do is say we are ungrateful.

I only hope that this year, others will be able to see how lucky we are to be alive and have our basic needs met.

So, this year, my Thanksgiving is going to look different. If this also resonates with you, I urge you to speak to your children and family members about it as well. Education starts early, and the best thing to do is to spread and share knowledge.

I urge parents to engage in conversations with their children about the depth of gratitude that goes beyond their current understanding. Instill in them an appreciation for the basics like water, food, clothing, a bed, and the roof over their heads. Help them realize that the presence of a family is a privilege that has been stripped from some. Impress upon them that siblings are a gift to cherish. Enlighten them to the fact that the world they inhabit is filled with hidden blessings.

Regardless of your plans for Thanksgiving, as I am Indian, yet I celebrate the holiday for family, take a moment to acknowledge what you have. This year the world has shown me what it means to be grateful. And understand that this isn’t a morbid or sad topic! This is a generalized message. There are many around the world who don’t have what we have.

Many times, I have seen children get angry at their parents for not providing them with something as small as their favorite Starbucks drink. We want to raise our children to love all and be humble for the smallest things in life. We are raising children in a different time, over 2-3 different generational changes. What we understand may not be what they understand.

It isn’t their job to understand better, but rather it is our job to teach better. As a community, let’s strive to change the perspective of gratitude and raise the next generation to be happier, kinder, and more grateful than the last. Thanksgiving isn’t just about giving thanks for what we have. It is about showing appreciation for everything we have and recognizing what others don’t.