Give Gifts Gratis
The ideas in Thanksgiving link with those inherent in Thought and Cerebral combined with those in Gift, Gratis, Gracious, Gratuity, Gratifying as well as Price, Prize, Appraise leading to Dharmatma and the gift of "Pure Truth".
Thanksgiving, once a religious celebration, by a 1941 decree of Congress is now a national festivity taking place on the fourth Thursday of November. Thanksgiving has global roots as a celebration of "harvest time" to convey gratitude and sharing among mortals and their deities. Anglo-centric views assert that the first celebration in the United States was at the site of the Plymouth Plantation in 1621 while others hold that other colonist held celebrations in 1541 in Texas.
Perhaps, when the pilgrims realized that one turkey could feed many more celebrants than any other fowl, the bird became one of the central emblems of Thanksgiving. Biology indicates that turkeys and peacocks are related, and mythology links them with Ceres, the Goddess of harvests, and with Hera, the personification of family.
THANK and GIVING are, at first blush, words that seem devoid of intricacies. However, like other fundamental words, the ideas in THANK and GIVE are difficult to define. Note that alternatives to "thank you" and "gift" are limited. For example, in German "Denken" and "Danken" clearly link "Think" with "Thank" and bring forth the dimension "to think is to thank". Romans asserted "what I think is so, is so" which points toward "truth", a theme touched upon later.
Regarding "gift", it is perhaps best defined as the opposite of taking as per "grab, grip". Gift, prize, priceless and appreciate do not fully reflect the idea inherent in gift since true gifts are "GRATIS" calling for recipients to say "GRACIAS" or thank your. In fact, seek to GRATIFY and engender GRATITUDE often expressed by GRACIOUS thanks. The link of "think thank" is further evident when gifts are given to induce recipients to FORGET and FORGIVE past offenses.
The link of GIVE with TRUTH is suggested by DAR, DARunok DARMO and DHARMA in Spanish, Ukrainian and Spanish denote donation, GIFT, GRATIS and ways to test the virtue of men. For Buddhists, DHARma and DHARmatma stand for ideas that the ultimate gift must be rooted in reality, truth, knowledge, birth and life as a test of those "who never sin" or stand for "pure truth".
Following harvests, the ancients celebrated thanksgiving recognizing their good FORTUNE by thanking deities such as Gea or later Demeter. The ancients recognized that goddess FORTUNA stood on a sphere known as FATE and had to sustain her balance against the winds of adversity. The belief remains that those seeking fortune must not only strive to "stay on the ball" but also remember to give, forgive, think and thank Fortuna and Gea for their blessings.
W. Wertelecki, M.D. 20091121a