Black Friday's influence may be waning, but the Thanksgiving holiday remains as significant as ever. Shopping begins earlier and is done in a variety of ways that didn't exist in days of yore. But many people in the United States still enjoy officially kicking off the holiday season by gathering with friends and family to share a meal of traditional North American foods, and giving thanks for all the good things life provides, along with valuable lessons learned.
It makes sense to give thanks throughout the year, developing an "an attitude of gratitude," as Zig Ziglar used to say. Ziglar was a consummate salesman, author and motivational speaker who inspired many merchant level salespeople in the payments industry's formative years. However, it's easy to get wrapped up in the daily grind and forget to appreciate what you have while pursuing new goals. Thus, rituals like Thanksgiving serve as a gentle reminder to slow down, pause and reflect on what's good.
The United States isn't the only country that celebrates in this way. Canadians, for example, celebrate their Thanksgiving holiday in October. Germans celebrate Erntedankfest, a religious holiday of thanksgiving in October; People in Liberia, which was established by freed slaves from the United States, celebrate the holiday in November.
Also in November, Japanese people take part in Kinro Kansha no Hi, which is derived from an ancient rice harvest festival. Long before colonists arrived in North America, indigenous people held festivals, giving thanks at harvest time. Religious and secular communities throughout human history have given thanks in rituals, hymns, collections and other means.
Today, in addition to enjoying traditional Thanksgiving dinners with family and friends, many people reach out to express gratitude to a variety of people who make a difference in their lives day in, day out. Whether it's a heartfelt email message, phone call, physical card, in-person visit, or shout out on social media, scores of people in the payments industry have been letting their current merchant customers, partners, vendors, support staff and contractors know just how much those relationships mean to them. It's an extra touch that demonstrates caring beyond a limited, close-knit circle.
And at this time, while I appreciate events and people, both close to home and across the globe, that are making a positive difference in the world, I'm thinking in particular of the hard-working, brilliant readers who subscribe to and rely on The Green Sheet, as well as the partners who help us in multiple ways to carry out our mission.
It is for you and because of you that we continue to exist, and while I do foster an "attitude of gratitude" throughout the year, I want you to know, as we embark upon the 2022 holiday season, how very much my Green Sheet colleagues and I appreciate you.
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