In Judaism, we give thanks a lot. Whether it be before a meal or after a bathroom break, we find ourselves constantly appreciating the gifts G-d gives us. One of -if not the- first brachos (blessings) each morning is an interesting one.
“…Hanosein lasechvi vinah, l’havchinbein yom uvein laylah”- Blessed are you, G-d our Lord, Who has given the rooster understanding to distinguish between day and night (others explain it not as a rooster). Why would we be thanking G-d for allowing the rooster to distinguish night and day? Of all the wonderful feats to begin our appreciations of the day- we speak about a rooster?!
The message of this blessing is not only pivotal to understanding the words, but all gratitude in life. When it comes to giving thanks, it is easy to appreciate the big things- that we have life, family, wealth, comfort. The ultimate form of appreciation for another, however, is recognizing how important they are in even the smallest of matters. ‘You are so important to me, I even appreciate that You gave a rooster the ability to know when the sun is coming up! Thank you!’
To appreciate someone for the noticeable things is nice, but obvious. In a sense, you thank them because you get a lot out of their assistance. When it comes to something small and “insignificant”, the fact that you appreciate them is because you recognize how important they are to you, not how important what they provide is to you. When we give thanks this Thanksgiving, let us give thanks to the people we appreciate, not just the things they give us. A good way of doing so is giving thanks for the little things.