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The College Greens: Giving Thanks

Giving Thanks

There’s no questioning the fact that Thanksgiving traditions revolve around food.  But as we all know (but often forget) the day is first and foremost about giving thanks.  Life can be really hectic, frustrating, and stressful sometimes, and that’s so easy to get caught up in.  Taking the time to look at the big picture and recognize all of the wonderful, beautiful things that you have in your life is really refreshing.  Look at how much GOOD you have!!!  Being grateful keeps the happies with you.  And Thanksgiving is a day that is dedicated to celebrating everything we are thankful for!  So in case you’ve forgotten to take the time to appreciate all of the good in your life lately, let the Thanksgiving holiday be your reminder. 

Right now is an especially hectic time for us.  As the fall semester begins to come to a close, the last assignments and exams are beginning to pile up, and finals week is quickly approaching.  We are overwhelmed, exhausted, and homesick.  But despite this, we are happy.  We love our lives.  A lot.  This week, we took some time to think about all of the magnificence in our lives and focus our energy on being truly and deeply grateful. It’s a really rejuvenating activity, and we encourage all of you to try it.  Here’s what we came up with:

We are extremely grateful for our loving and caring families.  Moms and Dads, brothers and sisters.  Cousins, Aunts, and Uncles.  Grandparents and beyond.  The bond we share, the love, the support, and the encouragement.  We thank you for all that you do and for always being there for us.  You’ve helped us to become the people that we are today, and we are so grateful to have had such wonderful, loving families to guide us and support our dreams and passions over the years.

We are very thankful for our dear friends, the family we choose for ourselves.  The ones we laugh with until we cry.  The friends we talk with for hours upon hours, anytime of the day.  Those who are always there with a kind smile to lift our spirits; in times of fear and sadness we appreciate the comfort of knowing we never have to go through anything alone.  We are so grateful to experience life together – happiness is happier, love is lovelier, and beauty is more beautiful when you can share it with someone. 

We are really appreciative of our good health.  We are young and still “under warranty”, but we are so grateful to be healthy, happy, and alive. We are thankful to not be taking medication or have to worry about health problems.  We are very appreciative of our ability to be so active and full of energy.  But more than physical health, we are also grateful to have health of mind and spirit as well.  We are thankful to know that with the plant-strong lifestyle we are living, we are nourishing our bodies and contributing to many, many more years of a good, healthy, and full life.

We are very grateful of the knowledge and education we have and continue to receive.  In school and in life we have learned so much.  We love to expand our awareness and grow through new knowledge and experiences.  Especially with the knowledge of an active, compassionate, and plant-based lifestyle we are grateful to be empowered to make the best decisions for ourselves and for the future.  Many thanks to the hours of research, steadfast dedication, and relentless determination of the many doctors, scientists, and activists who have paved the way for the plant-based movement. 

We are so thankful for nature and the great outdoors, and all the beauty it holds.  A glowing sunrise, a crisp fall afternoon, a sky so blue, an endlessly green hillside, a rushing waterfall, a breeze so soft and refreshing. Everywhere you look, nature is blooming and bursting with beauty. We love getting out into the fresh air, greeting the day with the morning dew, soaking up the afternoon sun, or getting lost in the starlit sky. Going for a walk, run, swim, or bike ride.  Hiking, rock climbing, or camping out.  Just getting outside and taking it all in helps us let go of all the little things and revel in all of nature’s gifts. Thank you, Mother Nature, for clearing our heads and opening our hearts, everyday. 

We are truly grateful for all of the amazing opportunities we have been given.  Starting with the Farms 2 Forks Immersion experience, to the Daily Beet blog posts, to the Engine 2 Extra community and more, we are truly living our dreams.  It is utterly amazing beyond words.  And we are so proud to be a part of such a wonderful, positive-impacting, life-empowering movement. 

We are thankful for optimism. We can’t deny that there are things that get us down—there undoubtedly are. Sometimes, things just suck. And when this happens, we’re not saying you should somehow miraculously find sunshine in the dark. It’s good to acknowledge your feelings, and accept your situation. Once you do this, you can move forward and focus on making the most of whatever you can. Learn from your mistakes, and use your experience to guide your decisions in the future. We are thankful for the ability to create ourselves, and our own lives. We can’t always control what happens, but we can control what we do with it. And as for the future of plant-based nutrition, we certainly have a lot to be optimistic about there as well. Though nowhere near being completely accepting of a plant-strong lifestyle or even fully seeing it as legitimate and empowering, the world is getting better.  The plant-strong community is growing and with that so is awareness.  Every small step is a step in the right direction.  We are definitely not there yet, but we are definitely on our way!

We are really grateful for love and compassion in the world.  To love and to be loved… is just the best there is.  We could try to put it into words, but who are we kidding?  Love is ineffable.  Nothing compares to the deep caring, unwavering support, and intense passion that love brings.  We are so grateful for the existence of love, both in the world and in our own lives. 

And we are very thankful for all of YOU.  For this community and the ability for all of us to grow and learn together.  For the encouragement and support that we share with one another.  We are so happy to be able to experience and enjoy the plant-strong journey together.  Thank you.

And finally, we are thankful for the holiday of Thanksgiving to remind us that we should be ever grateful for the goodness our lives are filled with, each and every day. Take some time to think about all of the wonderful things in your life, and to express your gratitude. It feels really good, we promise.

Overflowing with appreciation,

-The College Greens

About the author

The College Greens
The College Greens: Tara, Jenna, and Craig. Tara is a junior at Bucknell University, currently majoring in Education and minoring in Creative Writing, and planning to do a nutrition program upon graduation. Jenna is a sophomore attending Duquesne University, and she is studying to become a Physician Assistant. Both Tara and Jenna are certified in Plant-Based Nutrition through Dr.Campbell's eCornell program. Craig is a senior at Bucknell University. He is majoring in Chemistry and minoring in English, and is planning to go to medical school to become a pediatrician, where he hopes to incorporate lifestyle medicine in his practice.

3 Responses to “The College Greens: Giving Thanks”

  1. Kathy G says:

    Good message. You guys are wise beyond your years. You are so fortunate to have learned so much while you are so young so that you may have long, healthy and productive lives. Live on plant strong!!!

  2. Char Nolan says:

    I love the College Greens. Their wisdom is well beyond their years. Plant-strong love to you. XO Char

  3. Monica says:

    You really are so inspirational – and blessed to have discovered the amazing Esselstyn message so early in your lives. Keep up the great work. Look forward to your continued posts and hearing about the many steps along the way of your plant-strong journeys. :-)

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