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Thanks-living: Celebrate every day

  • Published
  • By Maj. Mel Turner
  • 90th Security Forces Squadron commander
Happy Holidays Air Force Global Strike Command! I hope everyone enjoyed their Thanksgiving. During the time with my friends and family, I was forced to ask myself, what is the Thanksgiving holiday really about?

I'm not talking about the day we symbolize the Native Americans and pilgrims feasting on harvest foods, by stuffing our faces full of turkey, cranberry sauce, pies, and yams to the backdrop of our families' favorite relatives indulging in excessive food, drinks and vocalized opinions.

I'm really talking about the concept of "Thanksgiving." Traditionally, we spend this day, the fourth Thursday of November, to reflect on the things we appreciate in our lives. This day of the year we look within and identify that with which we are thankful for.

So, what do we do the other 364 days of the calendar year? We have so much to be thankful for, why limit it to one day. Moreover, aren't there other things that can be done than just merely expressing our gratitude? Consider, the other days of the year we don't intentionally show our gratefulness for our significant others, family, friends, health, circumstances, opportunities, co-workers, etc.

We may not necessarily take all these things in our lives for granted, but can we really say we do a good job showing how much we appreciate them? I challenge each of you to stop saying thanks, but start to live thankfully today by trying one or all of the following four ways.

First, live thankfully by telling your fellow Airmen the benefits lessons learned from challenges you've faced. Nothing says "thank you" more than giving someone knowledge. Show appreciation to your co-workers by holding them accountable to standards in an effort to keep them from making larger mistakes that can jeopardize both their career and the mission. For those of us with subordinates who appear to have difficulty grasping to concept of a military way of life, some advice that a sober relative gave to me "rules without relationships equals rebellion." Relationships can be improved by showing our officers, NCOs, Airmen and civilians' appreciation through mentorship and showing them appreciation by helping them define and pursue their goals.

Secondly, not many of us like conflict and will choose not to correct the people you work with on their hair, uniform, unprofessional comments they make or if they are in a perceived inappropriate relationship. By tolerating these things, does it really show you care about them?

Additionally, do something every day for your spouse or significant other. Each and every member of the Mighty Ninety works hard to get the mission done, take care of their families and their future. As hard as you work, those special people in your life are working just as hard to support you.

And finally, thank yourself by going to the gym, church, or spending time doing what brings you joy. No matter how cold it is outside, your ego will thank your body later for keeping within Air Force fitness standards and taking care of your over-all-wellness. Do more just give thanks, live it every single day.