11/25/2014 11:14 am ET Updated Jan 25, 2015

Thanks (for) Giving

For many of us this is the best time of the year. For me it's particularly meaningful when I consider how quickly the season of thanks preceeds the season of giving.

If the 4th of July is Independence Day, Thanksgiving could just as easily be called Dependence Day. It is the time set aside to formally recognize something we should acknowledge with every breath we breathe: All of life and everything in life is a gift.

The essence of life is a chain of love. Love binds all things together with interdependence. Plants and animals trade atoms and air -- oxygen for carbon dioxide, carbon dioxide for oxygen. The water that falls on the earth passes through and is collected in the rivers, lakes, and oceans until it rises to fall again. The earth too must give so that it can receive.

This interdependence is what gives meaning and purpose to our lives. Much has been said on this subject but no one has said it better than Henry Emerson Fosdick.

"The Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea are made of the same water," Fosdick observed. "It flows down clear and cool from the heights of Hermon and the roots of the cedars of Lebanon. The Sea of Galilee makes beauty of it for the Sea of Galilee has an outlet; it gets to give .. .but the Dead Sea with the same water makes only horror, for the Dead Sea has no outlet; it must keep its bounty."