November 22, 2021

Giving Thanks

On November 25, we as a nation will once again gather around our dining room tables and join in the annual feast, we call Thanksgiving. Somewhere along the way many will make holiday plans, watch some football, and reminisce about holidays past and those who are no longer with us.

While we all enjoy these things, is that really what Thanksgiving is all about? Do we really stop and give thanks? When I think about Thanksgiving, I cannot help but think about what the Bible says about it. The Apostle Paul wrote in his letter to the Philippians "Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with Thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." 

So just how do we show Thanksgiving? Maybe we should start with breaking the word down into its two parts- thanks and giving. This hasn’t been an easy year for sure. The COVID pandemic continues to take the lives of almost 1,000 Americans every day. We in labor have been fighting battles on many fronts as the rich and powerful have organized their efforts to try to prevent working people from having a voice in the workplace. Over and over again our members have had to strike to win a contract that is fair to them. Our trials bring us closer in the family of labor if we truly divide each other’s burdens upon ourselves.

Recognizing the blessings in our lives is the first step to giving thanks. I know that some days I can get bogged down in day-to-day activities and forgot the things I should be thankful for. I have learned in those moments to think about all I have to be thankful for, and this helps me to regain my perspective. When it comes down to it, Thanksgiving is all about a thankful outlook.

  • If we have a place to lay our head- we should be thankful
  • If we have food- we should be thankful.
  • If we have our health- we should be thankful.
  • If we have people who love us- we should be thankful.


Once we recognize our blessings and all that we should be thankful for, next comes the giving. All around us there are others who have far less. If we are thankful, then we should be willing to share our blessings with others. Thanksgiving signals the start of the holiday season and the chaos that goes with it. Parties, family gatherings, and programs can take over our lives at this time. Wouldn’t it be good if this holiday season we stopped and took the time to share our blessings with others? All over Region 8, UAW members have historically come to the need of the community. Food drives, Angel Trees, and bike collections are just some of the ways UAW members participate in giving. This year I kindly ask we all do our best to show thanks through giving.

Greek Philosopher Epictetus stated, “He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has.” What a profound statement this is. In today’s materialistic world we can find ourselves wanting the latest and greatest technologies, clothes, homes, driving us to the point that we forget about all that we do have. This Thanksgiving, I can think of no better way to show real thanks than to take inventory of our blessings and then to share with others.

As we enter into this season of thanks, I would like to express to all of you how graced I am to serve this membership. Every day I am encouraged and inspired by the things I see in our Region. From coast to coast, I am fortunate to witness the solidarity and compassion this membership shares each and every day. In 2021 we have continued to face many trials, but together we have stood and made a difference for others and for this I am truly thankful.

On behalf of the entire Region 8 staff and clerical, I would like to express our wishes for health and happiness for each of you this Thanksgiving.

In solidarity,

Mitchell Smith Region 8 Director







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