I decided I’d take off this week and not post a story, but I wanted to at least say hello and add to the general goodwill in the turkey air and let you know what I’ve discovered this Turkey Day: I’m grateful to be alive and happy—I am so blessed as a human being. The miniature post below is an updated Thanksgiving greeting from a couple of years ago. Enjoy and may your Thanksgiving time be filled with love, joy, gratitude, and peace.
Norman Rockwell Poster
Do you know what I discovered this Thanksgiving week? None of my “wobbly bits” of my body is on the level where they used to be and many of my old relationships have been shot to smithereens, but I’ve never been happier. I’m so much more aware of who I am now and where I’m going in life—even if it means some things are dragging on the ground and some relationships that I thought would last a lifetime have had to be kicked to the curb.
So before I get stoned on tryptophan and vodka gimlets with my family, I just wanted to say that I am grateful to have discovered that I’m part of a “we” and not an “us and them” in the family of man. That may not sound like much, but if you’ve ever spent time in the conservative Evangelical circles I’ve escaped from, you’ll recognize why this is such a major distinction for me. And if you’ve been listening to the hateful, over-the-top rhetoric of Donald Trump against our American Muslim brothers and sisters, then you will also understand why I am pursuing brotherhood over hatred and fear—grateful to live in a pluralistic country where religious freedom (for all) is part of the Constitution.
Because I am a “we” on a journey with every other human on the planet, I’ve fallen in love with the universal mandate that every religion has at its core but rarely adheres to. I’ve made it one of my daily meditations and mandates (not just for people who think like me but for everyone I encounter): “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
So let’s all step away from the things that divide us . . .
Cartoon used by permission: John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune-Missouri/Cagle Cartoons
. . . and thank God for all the blessings we have living in the greatest country in the world.
Eat, drink, and be merry, and let’s all thank God for who we are to each other. If you are a Christian—hug a Muslim; if you’re straight—hug someone who is gay; if you’re White—hug someone who is Black (and vice versa); if you’re a Republican—hug a Democrat, and if you’ve got a warm home and food, reach out to someone who is homeless and hurting. Let our only enemy, during this holiday season, be the turkey whose ass we plan to hunt down and roast (or deep fry) for our culinary pleasure.
Oh, and try not to strangle your uncle who only watches Fox News 24/7 and your ex-hippie aunt who quotes everything Rachel Maddow from MSNBC says as you come together for a delicious Thanksgiving family dinner!
Cartoon used by permission: Rick McKee, The Augusta Chronicle
“At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us.” — Albert Schweitzer
“Gratefulness is the key to a happy life that we hold in our hands, because if we are not grateful, then no matter how much we have we will not be happy — because we will always want to have something else or something more.” — Brother David Steindl-Rast
“There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” — Albert Einstein
QUOTES COURTESY OF www.brainyquote.com
Cartoon used by permission: David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star/Cagle Cartoons
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