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A Thanksgiving Reflection by Student Council Secretary Bantu Banti '22

Good morning Lasallian brothers and sisters.

For those of you whom I haven’t had the pleasure of meeting yet, my name is Bantu Banti, and I am a senior. As you know Thanksgiving is tomorrow, a time when we celebrate gratitude with our loved ones. This is something that we don’t usually do daily.  Well, we could. but we don’t, maybe because we are so busy and don’t take the time, or we just forget.

Let us reflect on the Gospel that Mrs. K read about the ten lepers who were healed. One leper returned to Jesus and the other nine were so overwhelmed with joy with having the opportunity to spend time with their families that they completely forgot to thank Jesus for healing them. The moral of the story is that we must be thankful to the people who have been there for us, especially in the darkest moments, and by saying the words “thank you” they know we are grateful. I will begin by saying I am thankful for my family, friends, the opportunities God has given me in my life, and the will to get up each morning to live my American dream.

As soon as I stepped foot in the US on March 10th, 2018, I promised myself to be who I am and to accept myself fully. During the early stages of my life, I had trouble accepting myself  because I feared what my peers would think of me. My new journey in the US provided me the opportunity to begin a fresh start. I learned to step outside my comfort zone, because that plays a major role in learning how to connect with new people.

Being open towards new people has helped me to learn how to be comfortable when I am not in my comfort zone and has also allowed others to gain a sense of who I am and what I  have to offer to the world. I’ve learned that changing for someone else will not only bring you stress and misery, but it will also diminish your view of your inner-self and self-esteem.

We should all be grateful and make use of the opportunities that La Salle offers because our parents and caregivers work every day and sacrifice their time to provide for us so that we can all one day be successful, and be able to have comfortable lives.  We should be grateful to our parents and family for what they do for us and the love, support, and guidance that they give. 

Words of wisdom that my father often says to me are, “ Bantu, It all starts with your mentality and how you are going to influence others to be the best versions of themselves.”  In my mind, I always think, “wow dad, I didn’t know I had so much power.” I would like to thank my father for giving me the power to believe in myself, and realizing we all have the power inside of us to support  other people to be the best that they can be.  

Wale Ayeni, a Nigerian businessman and entrepreneur, once said, “Be thankful for what you have. Your life, no matter how bad you think it is, is someone else’s fairytale”. This quote connects with me mentally and spiritually because many people do not have the same opportunities that we have. Where I am from Durban, KwaZulu-Natal South Africa, most of the kids don’t have the opportunities that we have, to go to great schools, because their parents or family can’t afford the cost, due to lacking basic life necessities such as food, shelter, and clothes.

We should all work hard to live the life that we dream of, help others and motivate the people who have always supported us since day one to also follow their passions and endeavors. As we head into thanksgiving, think about what and who you are thankful for, they can be your family, friends and others, those that mean the world to you. This Thanksgiving,  I want us to put the Gospel into practice and go up to the people that we are grateful for and tell them how much they mean to you. This will make them feel loved and will cause your relationship with them to become even deeper.

Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving La Salle!

Bantu Banti '22

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