Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Five Grains of Corn; Thinking and Thanking on Thanksgiving Day

Magazine article The Saturday Evening Post

Five Grains of Corn; Thinking and Thanking on Thanksgiving Day

Article excerpt

Five Grains of Corn

The Pilgrims had a custom of putting five grains of corn on each empty plate before a dinner of "thanksgiving" was served. The father, mother, children, and friends would each pikc up a grain of corn and tell of something for which they were thankful. The practice reminded them of how the first Pilgrims were in such straits that their allowance was only five grains of corn per person each day. The Pilgrims had little, but they did possess gratitude. It was upon this base of genuine gratitude that America was built.

Gratitude is one of the great virtues. Our English word "thanks" comes from the same Anglo-Saxon word our word "think" does. If we would stop to think, we would pause to be thankful. When we pause to be thankful, we should think of those people we really appreciate--people who have helped use sometime during our life on this earth.

About three years ago my thoughts turned to the people I especially appreciated. I called each of them. One had been my professor in college; another was a person who had given me a great deal of encouragement; another was one with whom I greatly enjoy playing tennis; and another was a produce-department employee who had been especially helpful to me when I accompanied my wife on our regular Saturday-morning trip to the grocery store. The responses to these calls were amazine and also gratifying. It seems that the calls were the first time someone had expressed appreciation to them in this way. After hearing the enthusiastic responses I was getting from my calls, my wife began to make calls of her own to those persons she particularly appreciated. …

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