Giving and receiving thanks
Blog Author: George Szasz, CM, MDPosted: Friday, October 7, 2016 - 00:00
Thanksgiving Day is a national public holiday that falls on the second Monday in October, and the tradition of giving thanks has now been with us for hundreds of years. In Canada, English explorer Sir Martin Frobisher might have been the first to hold a thanksgiving celebration in 1578 after he survived his catastrophic attempt to find the Northwest Passage to Asia. Loyalists fleeing to Canada in the 1780s brought with them the US custom of an annual Thanksgiving celebration of abundant harvest. The British celebrated Queen Victoria’s Golden and Diamond Jubilees. In 1900 the future King Edward almost died of a ruptured appendix just before his coronation. His survival, following an operation that featured Dr Lister and a team of Britain’s most famous surgeons and anesthetists (all of whom were knighted before the operation), was another occasion for public thanksgiving. We are fortunate in our profession. Although we may not be celebrated specifically on Thanksgiving Day, often enough during the year we encounter patients who express gratitude for our work. Even more often, when watching our patients recover from their illnesses or accept the inevitability of their mortality, we can sense their trust in us, which is perhaps the ultimate expression of thanksgiving. We are privileged. Thank you!
—George Szasz, CM, MD
This posting has not been peer reviewed by the BCMJ Editorial Board.