Thanksgiving what a weird and wonderful holiday. I say this in jest because the meaning growing up was simple. Giving Thanks, and then you cook a turkey. Ok, it was about family and sharing a meal together too. It was a trip to Grandma’s or a small meal with Mom if she was not working. The turkey was so heavy and took forever to cook not to mention the weeks of leftovers but money was tight good food not always easy to come by. Most holiday’s for me were about family and my grandmother because she was the glue to the whole family. So holiday’s outside of Christmas and Easter (going to church requirements with Grandma) were really family outings not always tuned to there original intention. This may have been a good thing for me because growing up means questioning history, popular culture and the role advertising plays. History taught me that throughout history humans have a track record for showing their lack of compassion, fearful responses and general impatience when it comes to others. These factors and many others leads to the type of disconnection that creates all kinds of violence towards one another. Having visited a small park in Tennessee which later I was told had to do with the Trail of Tears. The place left an impression on me that was indescribable (my choice not to describe) and altered at-distance history exposure to the Native Americans. I hope others when seeing and feeling material representations of tragic historical events are reminded to learn from them and not repeat them. When we learn from our past and change our actions as individuals towards ourselves and others, when we connect with each other as brothers and sisters our history will be less a needed showcase and more a profound whisper of things that were. We are not there yet! But I have faith that we will see that giving thanks is a primary celebration of our connectedness. I hope you will too. So whether you Turkey or not, whether you gather or celebrate Thanksgiving or not. We all should be thankful everyday for the bounty of the land, how we can learn from our differences, build our society to assist the bounty of the land and honor the personal talents we each bring to the table of life.
May we pledge on Thanksgiving to be kinder to others and give thanks for all that we built and will built towards a better future.