How to Win the Wishbone (Even If You Don’t Get the Lucky Break)

More Turkey?

No thanks I’m stuffed.

Who wants to make a wish on the wishbone?

I do!

Okay, hold on and make a wish. Wait! No cheating, hold it at the bottom. Ready? Pull!

wishbone thanksgiving


Aww, you won. What did you wish for?

I can’t tell you because then it wouldn’t come true.

Chances are you’ve pulled apart the wishbone with a friend, loved one or family member following a Thanksgiving feast. At a time when you were as full as you could ever be, you wished for more of something else or something you’ve never had before.

Pulling apart the wishbone, someone wins, someone loses, but rarely do anyone’s wishes actually come true. It just leaves you wanting something you probably don’t even need.

What if, this Thanksgiving, we flipped the wishbone game upside down? Instead of pulling it apart and wishing for something for our own self, we drew together, held onto the wishbone and committed to do something for the good of another.

And instead of closing our eyes, we look into each other’s eyes and share one thing:

  • we could use less of,
  • we could do more of…

to make our families, communities and our world a better place.

What’s the one thing you could use less of, the one thing you could start doing or do more of that could make a real difference in someone’s life?

My pastor recently shared he figured he spends $100 a month at Starbucks. “I realized,” he said, “if I just cut back 25% I could help feed another child in Uganda.”

Use less of this to do more of that

There’s evidence others are beginning to figure this out. Even in business, people are coming forward to give of their abundance in order to help build a more healthy and sustainable community and world.

Stu McLaren shared how his business has helped fuel his passion to build schools in Kenya through World Teacher Aid in this podcast. And again, at a recent conference, 160 attendees were so moved to help him do more that in 20 minutes they joined together and donated over $80,000 to expand Stu’s cause. Read about and see the video of this incredible moment. (It will warm your heart and inspire a true spirit of thanksgiving.)

Yvon Chouinard, founder and owner of Patagonia, the catalog for the best (and some of the most expensive to make and purchase) clothing for hiking and skiing ever imagined, published an article about this concept in the Current Campaign: A Responsible Company.

A responsible company, he argued, is:

“One that cultivates healthy communities, creates meaningful work, and takes from the earth only what it can replenish. It’s one where all the indicators currently going in the wrong direction – CO2 emissions, ocean acidification, deforestation, desertification, species extinction, water contamination, toxic chemical release – all those things that are leading us to bankruptcy, will even out, then reverse.”

In coming to grips with what it means to become a more responsible company, Chouinard wrote: “Underlying much of what challenges Patagonia is the modern commitment to growth and consumption. We’ve begun to look seriously at these twin conundrums and took out an ad on Black Friday in 2011 that read, ‘Don’t Buy This Jacket.'”

You read that right. On Black Friday the owner of Patagonia placed an ad urging consumers not to buy his product.

He doesn’t admit to having all the answers, but at least Chouinard is willing to suggest that wanting more, and the practices that drive growth while depleting precious resources is an unsustainable (and irresponsible) position to be in.

How refreshing is that? My take on it is here’s a leader who’s saying, let’s not continue to do the things that pulls us apart for our own good, but let us find ways to come together for the greater good.

Our Turn on the Wishbone

Whose fingers will be on your wishbone this Thanksgiving? Will you make a wish for yourself and pull it apart? Or will you gather together, count your blessings, draw the line on wanting anything more and give something (no matter how small or large) from the abundance of a full and thankful heart?

Let’s not pull the wishbone apart this Thanksgiving, instead, in our circle of family, friends and loved ones, let’s join together and see what we can do to make this world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!

P.S. Here are some wishbone legend “facts” and resources for your enjoyment this Thanksgiving…(impress your family and friends):

  • Pulling apart the wishbone began as an ancient belief that chickens were fortune tellers. The tradition was passed down to generations and eventually came to America via the Pilgrims. At some point, turkeys replaced chickens and the wishbone legend morphed into our Thanksgiving festivities.
  • How to Make a Wish on a Wishbone. Short video on how to find the wishbone, dry it and make your wish before pulling it apart.
  • The term “getting a lucky break” originated from the wishbone ritual…read more if you dare!


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