Goodwill is the hallmark of autumnal and winter festivals across the world. We don’t hibernate alone, as we might if we were bears; we huddle together – for warmth, for comfort, and for joy.
Joy was much under-rated at school, and frankly still is; she attends to emotions rather than practical achievements. Christians will think of the Mary and Martha story but all faiths have parallels. And all have celebrations and the days after; finding joy in the days after is engagement and meaning in life.
Positive emotions were much under-rated during the 20th century, and frankly still are. But the world has changed. Fear, including fear of ourselves, is being addressed. It is good to celebrate the harvest of positive psychology, attained and growing.
Of course this harvest will barely provide for a year, as ever. We will have to work for another, and then again. To optimize results would involve smoothing across the calendar (not because it makes sense, just because the arithmetic is easier for those who have not the patience for the maths). Joseph’s dreams partly alert to the dangers yet provided ways forward; how we handled the harvests of the last decades will not serve for the future. Applied positive psychology can help furnish the mentalities needed to turn the world.
Thanksgiving[see comment #1] is, I guess, a time for family engagement (with all its embarrassments). The morning after it is time for taking stock.
In taking stock for the future slowing down, savoring, enjoying, engaging, meaning, purpose, risking for others, being present with purpose – these seem better hallmarks than all the various me goals.
Helping change the world takes generosity of spirit in action, of which there is more than enough to produce next year’s harvest – if we do the work; if we do the work to let it grow, then it will flow. Next year beckons.
Some historians argue that the plague eroded the celebration of thanksgiving in Europe; I agree. Think on the Oxford English Dictionary quotes below in comment #1.
Seligman, M. E. P., & Csikszentmihalyi, M. (2000). Positive Psychology: An Introduction. American Psychologist, 55(1), 5-14.
Gilbert, D. (2007). Stumbling on Happiness. New York: Vintage. See Chapter 7 – Time Bombs .