Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Why can't Thanksgiving be every day?

Thanksgiving in 1942. (Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.)

Tomorrow, Americans will celebrate Thanksgiving Day. Most will gather around a table with family and friends, feasting on stuffing and cranberry sauce and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and pumpkin pie and, in nearly all cases, a big roast turkey.

It has been some time since I participated in Thanksgiving the traditional way. The holiday is not an entirely benign event, as Two Dogs always reminds me this time of year. It is a day of infamy in Native American history - Natives saving the lives of European settlers by giving them seeds and teaching them how to fish - only to have the Europeans bite the hands that fed them, figuratively speaking.

While I believe that we must stay aware of historical truth, it is meaningless and even counterproductive to punish ourselves for the sins of our ancestors. It's better to perform acts of generosity in the present.

I love the idea of sharing meals with the people you care about most, and giving thanks for all of your blessings (and we all have them). I ask why we don't do it more often - say, once a week if not more.

If we did, though, would we still need a Thanksgiving Day?

I say yes.

Happy Thanksgiving, and safe travels for all.

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