By Dr. Laura Palmer Noone, CEO, University of the Potomac

As I sit at my desk this week, my mind wanders to Thanksgiving and all that I need to do to get ready for a family dinner.  Have I got all the ingredients I need for the salad? What about the turkey – did I remember to put it in the refrigerator so it could start defrosting?  Do I have what I need for the pumpkin pie or should I just buy one this year?

But then, I remember what this holiday is really all about – giving thanks for all that we have.

I did a little internet research on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and of course, there is no shortage of experts – both self-proclaimed and otherwise – offering their opinions.  But this definition was the one that resonated with me:

  1. thanks·giv·ing/ˌTHaNGksˈgiviNG/ (Noun)

To prepare the heart – In gratitude, we humbly reflect upon all the gifts (family, friends, health) that saturate our lives. By “giving-thanks” we choose to extend ourselves and give to others less fortunate. Out of the abundance of our hearts, we are able to offer our resources to help others.


Adapted from http://www.allabouthistory.org/meaning-of-thanksgiving.htm


Even though things have been tough, there are many places in the world that have far less.  The world population has now reached 7 Billion.  Sometimes it helps to reduce it to an understandable percentage.  You may have seen or heard about the world reduces proportionately to 100 people.  I am always humbled when I read these statistics:


If the world were 100 people:

50 would be female
50 would be male

26 would be children
There would be 74 adults,
8 of whom would be 65 and older

There would be:
60 Asians
15 Africans
14 people from the Americas
11 Europeans

33 Christians
22 Muslims
14 Hindus
7 Buddhists
12 people who practice other religions
12 people who would not be aligned with a religion

12 would speak Chinese
5 would speak Spanish
5 would speak English
3 would speak Arabic
3 would speak Hindi
3 would speak Bengali
3 would speak Portuguese
2 would speak Russian
2 would speak Japanese
62 would speak other languages

83 would be able to read and write; 17 would not

7 would have a college degree
22 would own or share a computer

77 people would have a place to shelter them
from the wind and the rain, but 23 would not

1 would be dying of starvation
15 would be undernourished
21 would be overweight

87 would have access to safe drinking water
13 people would have no clean, safe water to drink


So when you are at the supermarket wrestling for that last Butterball turkey, remember to stop and give thanks for all you have!


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