As we celebrate Thanksgiving this week, I am reminded that we are part of an enduring worldwide tradition.
The American Thanksgiving holiday began as a feast of thanks in the earliest days of the American colonies. It originated from a mix of European and Native American traditions, but Native Americans already had a rich tradition of commemorating autumn and the harvest with feasting and games centuries before European colonists arrived. The history of Thanksgiving also crosses cultures, continents and centuries. It can be traced as far back as the ancient Chinese, Greek, Roman, and Egyptian civilizations. Continuing today, Thanksgiving celebrations are observed with different names, customs, and traditions they all have a common theme: Gratitude.
A wise person once said: "At times our own light is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us."
In that spirit, please know that I can never say thank you enough for your many contributions to improve the health, safety and independence of Oregonians. Thank you for all that you do. I'm proud and honored to be working with such wonderful, committed, and skilled individuals.
I encourage everyone to take time this holiday to stop for a moment to think about the spirit of Thanksgiving and gratitude -- and express those thanks to the people with whom we work and live. At times, we all need a "spark" from another person, and your own expression of thanks to that other person may be just what they really need!
Have a great holiday.