Several years ago I took my family to the Dominican Republic for Thanksgiving break. Dancing around the pool and beach with a local dressed up as a turkey was a new one on us, but we had a blast.
We normally just like to relax at the resort, but this time, we went on a day trip into the local villages. We visited a local school and were even invited into people’s homes to see how they live and my kids were shocked. First by the fact that the school was a single room building in the middle of the village with dirt floors. Then we went into a home that also had only one room with bedding pallets laying on the dirt floors, no bathroom, and a fire pit in the corner of the room that served as the kitchen. No refrigerator, no oven, no microwave, just a wood-burning stove. But the biggest surprise was how happy everyone seemed to be. The kids were all smiles and the parents were just as content. Too bad they can’t drive to their local Chick-fil-A for a 6-pack or take those kids to the bounce house for the afternoon. They don’t know what they’re missing! Maybe that’s why they’re so happy.
Americans spend a lot of time on their social media platforms these days. Posting about their vacations, new cars, awesome jobs, and amazing kids. The Journal of Social and Clinical Psychology published a study that concludes “there is in fact a causal link between the use of social media and negative effects on well-being, primarily depression and loneliness.” In a recent post, I talk about the fact that being human sucks, and the act of comparing yourself to other people is a great example of why it’s hard to be human. We know we shouldn’t do it, but apps like Facebook and Instagram make it pretty hard to avoid!
My hope for you this Thanksgiving is that you are able to unplug, live in the moment, and realize how great things are in your own life. Take some inventory of all the things you are grateful for and just soak that up and know that you are likely living someone else’s dream.
I want you to know that if you are reading this, I am grateful for you. I’ve been writing this blog for several years now and it means a lot to me that people are out there using their time to look at what I post. I love the emails you send, the comments you make on LinkedIn or on this site, and the thoughts you share with me when I see you at events. I write for myself but mostly I write for you and for those moments, so thank you for paying attention and for your continued support.
Happy Thanksgiving from The Quinn Family!