As you pushed yourself away for the table yesterday I am sure you never doubted that it was going to be a good meal. Aside from the fact that you may have had to eat with relatives you aren’t on the best of terms with or that maybe you find yourself burdened more than usual this time of year; you still had a good meal and took a moment to say thank you.
Sitting there before the spread you might have even for just a few moments forgotten about all that you normally concern yourself with. Thanksgiving is the once a year meal that we all go into taking a deep breath for two reasons. One so that we can fit more in and the other so that we can pause to give thanks for the things that have come and in some instance, not come our way over the last year…and the best part is that for what we give thanks for, we get to fill in our own blank.
The topics for thankfulness are as varied as we are. And the only one that gets to determine what you are thankful for is you. Kind of like that birthday wish before you blow out the candles. But hard as it is for you to imagine a world where they don’t give thanks, we need to remember that not everyone celebrates thanksgiving. I doubt the terrorist scorning Mumbai this week have any idea of the notion of thanksgiving.
Call it American shortsightedness. Sure other countries have their own holidays, but few that I know of take a whole government sanctioned day to take a deep breath and give thanks. And forget the thing about Pilgrims and Indians. That particular bit of American folklore has been twisted and turned around so many times its pretty hard to find any link to our real reality to it.
As I write this countless hundreds are lining up in front of stores keyed to take part in the yearly twenty percent off shopping festival we call, “black Friday!” Never understood why they call it black, although I am sure it has to do with sellers going from the red to the black, but bottom line, we Americans love a sale. We also love more than anything being who we are. It’s nice to know that part of who we are is also a people who stops and say thank you, no matter how briefly that might be.