Giving thanks is more than a simple mannerism, which is taught to us from the beginnings of childhood. It is a form of honor. When you are thanking someone, you are acknowledging their contribution for what you have. Whatever they have given, you are grateful for. In addition, you are honoring the value for such a gift. Such is the very meaning of “giving thanks.” Clearly, what has been given to you has made a lasting impression. It has impacted you in such a way, that you can never forget the gift. Bring joyfulness and gratitude. There is tenderness, and wellness, through it all.
One of the preludes in giving thanks is that you have been open to receiving. Being open requires an act of, surrender! It translates into having been able to accept the help and assistance of others. You see another person as valuable. Therefore,an invidual is open to accepting that level of compassion. Moving it into the spiritual realm, we are forced to accept a greater awakening. For starters, when looking at Negro Spirituals, we are pressed into observing the historical context. What did enslaved, Black American people have in being grateful for? What did those after the enslavement period have in being grateful for? Being alive. Continuing one’s culture in the midst of. Overcoming and creating in the process. The ending of slavery. Even in the midst of oppression, there was something to be grateful for.
Back to one Black American artform, known as Gospel Music. It’s amazing how Black American artists have been grounded in the Black American Church. Extremely amazing! Well, that is the root, and center, of authentic, Black American culture. It is where the music, linguistics, fashion, and others were cultivated and crafted. Period. Many Black Americans will venture to secular, musical forms such as R&B, Soul, Hip Hop, and others. Needless to say, they always return to the Black/Black American Church. That’s just its the natural occurrence. You have those trying to bring in foreign faiths and cultures into the community; trying to mask them as “Black American.” And yet, they are reliant on Black American Church culture, systems, and foundations for their matriculation through US industries. Enough said.
So now we are back to the “Old Skool.” We reflect on those 90’s sitcoms, with our favorite, iconic actresses and actors. There were the glimmering light of the show. Their characters are memorable, and were literally the “show stoppers.” Audiences viewed them in that light. Particular scenes were iconic because of them. And then. . .and then, they showed us a different side. They returned back to the place, which made them, who they were.
We remember her from the iconic, television series, Good Times! It was a show documenting the presence of family values, hardwork, joy, and societal issues within urban, Black American society. It highlighted the everyday living of the family unit structure, within Black America. And yes, even with socio-economic disadvantages, there was (and still is) family!
She sang the popular song for another popular, television series, The Jeffersons. It is entitled, “Movin‘ On Up!” In her later days, she transformed that to Gospel. Yet, did you know that she also performed another song within the Gospel realm. It is entitled, “Give Thanks!” Hearing her speak in song, while background vocals played on was very much a wellness of healing. Listeners could hear the passion in her voice. For she was demonstrating her gratitude to the Most High. She had been blessed with the ability to use her talents for fame and fortune. It was her testimony because something had been missing; missing for a very long time. It was Heaven’s guidance. And when deviated from the path of Heaven’s guidance, we become lost-confused in one’s purpose. Sometimes, it requires a simple song to get back on track. Sometimes!
When you finally get back on track, and were secured in doing so, it feels good. In fact, an awakening has taken place. One cannot help, but to demonstrate gratitude in for having been, brought back! Safe and sound. It feels surreal. No one can deny that! Reality sets in and you know that you have been blessed and Highly favored! That’s the key! How could you not give thanks? How could you not give praise? And so, in listening to such a song, we move to the very art of surrender; opening to receiving our gifts, in honor of those, who have given. We honor the Creator, who has given. For reception is a state of surrender. And, in our surrender, we are open to receiving more. Giving thanks, for a higher praise!