Behind the Blog is a meme to help bloggers connect their life and interests to the content showcased on their blog. The co-hosts, Faye, Kathe, and Melissa will provide a different topic, idea, or question every week that bloggers can relate to themselves and the books, films, or other media they find interesting!
With Thanksgiving having been just last week in the US, and Christmas approaching, I thought it might be nice to take a break from all the holiday hustle and bustle for a moment and reflect on the things that we are all thankful for this year. What are you most thankful for? Are there any particular events that have made you particularly thankful or appreciative of anyone or anything? In relation to books and media: What are some books and movies that teach good lessons about being thankful? Who are some characters who learn to be thankful and appreciate what they have?
When it came to writing this post, I actually struggled to know what to write. Not because I’m not thankful, but because I’m thankful for so much and so many people. It may sound extremely corny but there are so many things that I have done this year that I would not have done if someone hadn’t encouraged me, or supported me, or guided me through. So, instead of using this post to thank any individuals, I want to take this opportunity to thank everyone and to highlight why being kind and generous, and giving more of yourself to others is a good thing. How simply just smiling at a stranger could make their day better and while they may never actually be able to say “thank you” to you, they will forever be grateful.
Taking risks is a large part of life, or it should be a large part of life. Stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that is completely and utterly scary, is something that people should try to do as regularly as they can. For we can never know what the outcome will be if we never do it. This year I have taken so many risks and while some have fallen flat and not taken me anywhere, some have changed my life dramatically. The largest example, and easiest, is this blog. While, technically I started it last year, it was only in the beginning of the new year that it really started to take off. It was a risk to start one, but it was one that has had me reaping benefits ever since. I love blogging and I am struggling to remember how I functioned without it in my life.
But taking that step, of starting my blog, would not have been possible without other people supporting me and encouraging me. Essentially, it was one person who really encouraged me, but it was everyone else that started following, tweeting and commenting that kept me going. It was the support and welcoming of the community that made me so grateful that I had taken the risk of starting my blog. Of course, over the course of the year I have continuously thanked everyone for helping to make my blog what is today, but I still mean it. Every new follower, every new comment, every new like or tweet, still brings a smile to my face and makes me know that all I do is worth it. So thank you.
There have been other risks I have taken this year, some as small as choosing a dissertation topic, to bigger ones like volunteering in the summer, but they have all shaped who I am now, a year later. I am thankful that I have had the opportunity to take risks because of the people around me. Thankful that the opportunities arose because of the circumstances I am in. Because just being able to sit here typing on this very laptop is a fortunate thing for me, for in January I did not have that luxury, until I was given this new laptop from my insurance provider – and needless to say I was very thankful for them!
So if you have a chance to take a risk, feel you have the support and encouragement you need, then I would fully advice you to take it. Because even if it doesn’t turn out the way you planned, at least you tried, right? You took that step in the right direction, you were brave enough to conquer your own fears and go outside of your comfort zone. And if you’re not thankful to yourself for taking that chance, then I’d be worried. Because I know that even when things went wrong, I was glad to have tried because at least then I knew where I stood, and everyone who supported me was still there, ready to help me pick up the pieces too.
Really, the point of this post, I suppose, isn’t about taking risks – despite what that last paragraph seemed – it’s about being thankful, above all else, for humanity. And I am thankful for that. I am thankful that we’re alive, that there are people out there who care, people out there who are kind, and selfless. I’m thankful that when times are tough, we band together and fight together and never let the world bring us down. Even when nature is bashing out our doors, pulling down our houses, power and running water through our subways, there are always those amazing people who are out there helping each other, supporting each other, and that, is why I am thankful. Humanity has shown itself to be the best thing that has ever grown on this planet, and I hope it continues to exist that way.
I know that there are many books that have this in, especially of the YA variety where people are growing up and learning to live with a little more freedom. But I am struggling to think of just a few to mention here. I could, for example, gush about Harry Potter, and how thankful he is for his new friends at Hogwarts. Or I could talk about The Hunger Games and how thankful Katniss is that she was able to volunteer as tribute over her sister. Then I could move on and talk about The Kite Runner and how thankful Amir is that he gets away from the Taliban. But really, I think that in every book there is someone who is thankful of something. And if I was to tell you about all of them, we’d be here for a really long time. So instead, I think that just trying to think about why people are thankful in books is a nice activity to do.
What are you thankful for?
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