In some ways it is the greatest of holidays. Greater than Christmas, greater than Fourth of July, greater than any others. It’s not because of the big meal promised and enjoyed. It’s not because of the football games. It is because it is a day for us, as Americans, to take stock of what we have---no matter how meager---and give thanks. Doesn’t have to be to a god, doesn’t have to be to any person or entity. Just be thankful and grateful for what we have.
It is the last chance we have to give thanks before the orgy of consumption that immediately follows, and lasts until January. And when it is over, we walk away from the table and know we have work to do because taking stock also involves seeing what we don’t have, and where we need to fix the things that need fixing.
It’s not going to be easy, and it’s not going to happen overnight. But if we want it bad enough, it will happen.
We can change things. We don’t need presidents, senators, congressmen or politicians to do it for us, because time and time again they have let us down. Promises made give way to reality all too often, and every year it’s more of the same.
We don’t need them. We need us, and we need each other. We can make change. It doesn’t have to be as Americans, but just as citizens of the world. We have to get off our lazy backsides and get out there and do something. Taking charge of our own destinies is the only way that we can ensure that things will get done.
Being that it will be Thanksgiving, the first image that comes to mind is one of food. It is at this time of year that we often are made aware of the sad truth that in a world with enough food to feed every single human being on this planet, millions and millions of people go to bed hungry, including over 17 million children in this country alone. Proof that not everyone is created equal, despite what a piece of paper somewhere says.
It is time to change that. It is time to begin caring for and about each other. Being responsible for, and caring for others is the purest kind of love, and in recent years it seems that that love has vanished from the foreground. It’s time to change that. One of the great hypocrisies of the last century is this notion of being more holy, more Christian than the next guy and then acting in exact opposite ways. How some people can look at the misery of others, and not want to do something to help a fellow human being, especially when they have tremendous resources to do so, is beyond my level of comprehension. I hope it is also beyond yours too.
So, watch the football games, enjoy your lovely dinners with family and friends, and then go out and fix your country, and your world. Change things. For yourself, for your family, for your community.