The Norman Rockwell image of Thanksgiving burns in America’s collective consciousness.

A loving family gathers around a massive table, all smiles and excitement as the matriarch presents the perfectly prepared, bronze bird while her husband stands at the head of the table in preparation to carve.

Maybe your family traditions differ. Afterall, turkey’s not everyone’s favorite. Perhaps concerns about the COVID-19 pandemic have reduced the number gathered — and the size of this year’s main course. And then, as is too often true, families experience tensions and turmoil.

Whatever the situation, the fourth Thursday of November is a day to return thanks for the blessings in our lives.

Despite the pleading of a popular, traditional hymn, we seldom count our blessings or take the time to name them one by one.

That’s why this late harvest-season celebration is so very important.

After the dress-up and make-believe celebrating at Halloween and before the hectic final race to make Christmas just right, we pause and ever so briefly put life on hold to say thanks.

As you gather with friends and family, take a moment to study each face. Think about the treasure they are to you and the potential within their soul to bless others.

Pray for personal growth this Thanksgiving and the ability to see people for what they can be, not simply judge them by their most recent failing. Ask for guidance in helping each family member live up to their potential and discover their best life. Be the encourager, coach and mentor your friends and family need.

And maybe your own version of a Rockwell experience will come into focus. Be the change and others will find themselves giving thanks for you.

This editorial reflects a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.

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