IS Thanksgiving obsolete? The question seems jarring on this, the one day a year society sets aside specifically for the purposes of expressing gratitude. But consider that when the Pilgrims established the first Thanksgiving, they were celebrating the mere fact that they hadn’t starved to death in the New World. These days, our food is so abundant that, for most of us, obesity poses a far, far greater threat than does starvation. Today, abundance can seem more like a burden than a blessing. More importantly, though, Thanksgiving is a reminder of the need for gratitude itself. In our affluence, it’s easy to take our blessings for granted. Rather than being grateful for food and shelter, we find ourselves wanting for the latest consumer good, fighting the crowds on “Black Friday” morning to get the best deals. For one day, though, Thanksgiving reminds us that we can take nothing for granted. Not our freedom, not our livelihoods, not our soldiers, our firefighters, our teachers our parents – or the security that allows us to spend a day feasting with loved ones and watching football. In this respect, Thanksgiving is anything but obsolete – it’s crucial to our psychic and spiritual health. So enjoy the day and all that it represents. Happy Thanksgiving!160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREPettersson scores another winner, Canucks beat KingsEven so, Thanksgiving is far from obsolete. Indeed, it’s arguably more important now than ever. It’s important, first and foremost, because we have so much to be grateful for – our freedom, our health, our loved ones, our food, our families, and the historically unprecedented level of safety and comfort that comes with living in this, the most prosperous nation in this, the most prosperous time in history. It’s important, too, because in taking stock of all that we’ve been given, we are reminded of those who have been given less. We need not look far within our own communities and the world to see those who are hungry, impoverished, without hope. And we need look only in our own lives to see those who are sick, lonely, jobless or struggling. In Thanksgiving, we see the stark juxtaposition of suffering in an age of abundance. And this is a reminder of our obligation to help wherever we can.