Sat | Dec 14, 2019

Letter of the Day | National day of giving gratitude

Published:Friday | November 29, 2019 | 12:29 AM


Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day in the USA, a day not gone unobserved in Jamaica. It began as an American religious celebration to mark early harvest and other post-Mayflower blessings in the new land.

Yet it might be difficult to come up with pertinent, plausible reasons for Jamaica to institute a Thanksgiving Day holiday. Grenada has a calendar Thanksgiving Day.

Unlike the UK pilgrims sailing to new frontier on the commissioned Mayflower, our experience was diametrically and brutally different. Reading and looking back on our own history, it is obvious now that psychologically we survived, persisted, and we remain here as Jamaicans.

“Forward ever, backward never” (Jacob Miller), it is sociologically, mentally and medically good to give thanks, making it unconditional that we in Jamaica set aside a day for giving thanks, a kind of Thanksgiving Day.

But what justifiable reasons can we conjure up to add Thanksgiving Day to the national calendar? Do we as a people have anything innately tangible or intangible of which to be thankful? And if not, should we institute a day of giving GRATITUDE?


Dr Joseph Mecola, American alternative medicine proponent, highlights the importance of gratitude in his latest online publication.

“Gratitude is uniquely important to psychological well-being,” he said, adding that, “in teenagers, gratitude has been found to correlate with positive emotions, life satisfaction, social support and pro-social behaviour.”

He proffered that, “Gratitude lowers stress, improves depression and improves emotional resiliency; researchers have suggested gratitude practice can be used as a psychotherapeutic intervention.”

In its positiveness and what it can do for an entire country, maybe we should add GRATITUDE DAY to our national calendar.