I know the traditional blog post on Thanksgiving is to write about the things for which I am thankful. Health, family, friends… it really is all the same, isn’t it. Nothing new to be thankful. Okay once in a while someone might write about being thankful for metaphysical things, or specific events in his life – thankful for relationships, jobs, and that sort of stuff.
Today I am making more food than one person has a right to eat. It will be a day of glorious gluttony and I will revel in it. I am thankful I have the resources to have such a grand and glorious meal. I am thankful I have a home in which to enjoy this meal. I am thankful that I get to play video games as much as I want today because I have the day off from work – that I have a job to have a day off from when so many don’t.
Poverty, hunger, joblessness infect this country, the greatest country on the planet and half of the people in this great country don’t see it as a problem. I am not thankful for that. I am not thankful that there are children in the richest country on the planet who go to bed hungry. I am not thankful that there are people who go to work sick because they can’t afford to take the day off to sit in a public clinic all day. People avoid getting medical assistance because they can’t afford it.
I am not thankful that this country is so divided, that the people we’ve elected to lead this country fail day in and day out to lead. I am not thankful that people are more loyal to their ideologies instead of their neighbors and communities.
Make me thankful and prove me wrong. Give and give generously to food banks this year because more and more Americans, your neighbors, your families, depend upon food banks. If you are a business owner and debating whether to hire an extra position or not, just do it. For crying out loud, do it. Don’t wait until it feels safe… take a risk. Employed people spend more money than unemployed people. People spending money is what drives this economy. Don’t complain how ‘sales are down’ if you don’t also support ways to put people back to work. The two go hand-in-hand.
Am I oversimplifying the problem? Yep. I am. I fully admit I am. We have to start somewhere though and it is apparent our government is incapable of doing it.
When the Pilgrims came to America, that first winter they relied a lot on the natives for food. Think about that for a second. The Pilgrims were thankful because of the grace and charity given to them by strangers. Thanksgiving, that three-day feast, was a celebration of life, a celebration that these strangers gave of themselves to help the Pilgrims survive.
So I don’t care about what you are thankful for, I really don’t. I care more about what you’ve done to make someone else thankful.