Thanksgivings Past and Future

dad-giving-baby-boy-botttleAt a Thanksgiving potluck today, I was handed a three-month-old boy and had the privilege of feeding him his bottle for a while. Twenty minutes later, our host and another guest treated us all to an informal concert, playing the piano and the violin respectively. As I sat there, listening to the music and watching the woman next to me holding the same baby boy, I thought back to Thanksgivings past.

When I was a child, all the adults at our Thanksgiving dinners were firmly in control of the world around me. Some of them were in their prime, with their best years ahead of them and with dreams yet to fulfill. It was their world, and I was just a wide-eyed guest.

Today, virtually all of those people are gone. My contemporaries and I now inhabit the world they left behind. Their world is now our world. But only for a time. I looked at the face of that baby boy next to me and envisioned him at a Thanksgiving celebration forty or fifty years from now. He won’t remember any of the people who fawned over him at his first Thanksgiving. They will all be long gone and long forgotten, just as the grown-ups from my early Thanksgivings are gone, nothing but wispy memories and black-and-white faces in faded photographs.

This world is only ours for a short while. As Steve Jobs said in his famous commencement address at Stanford in 2005:

No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because Death is very likely the single best invention of Life. It is Life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new. Right now the new is you, but someday not too long from now, you will gradually become the old and be cleared away. Sorry to be so dramatic, but it is quite true.

In light of this truth, the question we must ask ourselves is this: Before I am cleared away, what can I do to make myself a better human being and the world a better place and why aren’t I already doing those things?

family-thanksgiving-tableI wonder how many adults from my early Thanksgivings brushed off that question, believing that time was their friend and they could squander it freely without consequence. I wonder how many of them found themselves at the end of their lives with more regrets than triumphs.

So what are you doing today, this week, this month to improve yourself in every way imaginable and deliver all the beauty that only you can contribute to the world? What can you do in the next twelve months to make your world and everyone in it give thanks that you didn’t wait one more day to start becoming who you came here to be?


Phil is the author of Through God’s Eyes: Finding Peace and Purpose in a Troubled World, a comprehensive guide to living a spiritual life. Who will benefit from reading it?

Anyone who is on a spiritual path, or wants to start one
Anyone who loves life, or wants to learn how to
Anyone who is happy, or wants to be happier

To order your copy of Through God’s Eyes, go to OR order from Amazon at OR for an inscribed copy, click here to e-mail Phil for information.

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Through God’s Eyes won first place in the “Spirituality and Inspirational” category at the San Diego Book Awards on June 22, 2013.

Here is a two-minute video introduction to Through God’s Eyes.

Want to learn more about Through God’s Eyes? Here is a free 40-page PDF sampler from the book that includes:

• an overview of the book
• the complete table of contents
• the Foreword by Caroline Myss
• my Introduction
• chapter excerpts
• a sample end-of-chapter story
• endorsements from authors and thought leaders

Just click on the link below to download your free PDF sampler!


Phil’s eBook, The Logic of Living a Spiritual Life: Supporting a Life of Faith Through Logic and Reason, is now available for 99 cents on Amazon.

Order it at

In this eBook, you’ll find answers to questions like:
• What is the cornerstone of a spiritual life, and why?
• What is the secret to liberating yourself from other people’s judgments and expectations?
• Why is there an exception to “Everything happens for a reason”?

Those who worship logic instead of God are only half right. Not only is it logical to believe in God and to live a faith-based life, the existence of a loving, benevolent God that governs all creation is perhaps the only systematic worldview that explains every aspect of life.

Schedule a Mastery Mentoring phone session with Phil to learn how to apply principles of spiritual living more effortlessly and effectively. Priced affordably! Click here to e-mail Phil for details.

SiSe_fullcover_final.inddPhil is also the author of Sixty Seconds: One Moment Changes Everything, a collection of 45 inspiring, life-changing stories from prominent people he interviewed, including Joan Borysenko, Deepak Chopra, geneticist Dr. Francis Collins, acclaimed sportswriter Frank Deford, Dr. Larry Dossey, Wayne Dyer, Dan Millman, Caroline Myss, Dr. Christiane Northrup, Dr. Dean Ornish, Dr. Rachel Naomi Remen, Dr. Bernie Siegel, James Van Praagh, singer Billy Vera, Doreen Virtue, Neale Donald Walsch, and bassist Victor Wooten.

Here is a three-minute video that introduces you to Phil and his book. Click here to order Sixty Seconds. Click here to ask Phil to add you to his e-mail list for updates on his blog and books.

Reading this book is like spending a few minutes face to face with each of the contributors and listening to their personal stories. Click here to read unsolicited testimonials from readers. Learn more by visiting the official Sixty Seconds website.

Sixty Seconds was one of three finalists in the General Interest/How-To category at the 12th annual Visionary Awards presented by COVR (Coalition of Visionary Resources) in Denver on June 27, 2009.

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2 Responses to “Thanksgivings Past and Future”

  1. Judy Says:

    Great insight!

  2. Phil Bolsta Says:

    Thank you, Judy!

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