Turkey day reflections

Discussion in 'Fred's House of Pancakes' started by samiam, Nov 23, 2007.

  1. samiam

    samiam Antipodean Prius Poster

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    I have waited until what will be late on T-day in the US (so as not to spoil anyone's enjoyment of the day)
    and I'm not sure whether I will decide to actually click the post new topic button... But...

    Some of you will know that I am an ex-pat. Well, when I was a young american, T-day really used to bother me. Parts of my family sat on opposite sides of that original T-day table. On my dad's side we do go back to the Mayflower and as for my mother's side, our stay in North America began much, much further back. Anyway, you get the picture -- angry conflicted youth says "what can we possibly be thankful for, one half of my ancestors systematically murdered the other half".

    As I got a bit older, I saw that modern T-day wasn't really a celebration of that original feast in 1621 at all. It was more about giving thanks for today's *blessings*, oddly enough by consuming as much food as possible. T-day seemed to me to be sort about giving thanks through a demonstration of gluttony. So I began fasting each T-day, not in protest, but I sort of thought it more fitting of a day devoted to reflection and giving thanks. Yes my family thought me odd (& they still do).

    [BTW, I did derive some perverse and esoteric enjoyment observing others' T-day celebrations as a demonstration of why drive and incentive interact additively while they collectively interact with habit multiplicatively, a point only a few motivational theorists will still appreciate]


    When I raised my own family, we observed a sort of hybrid T-day, with a mid-day family meal of modest portions and lots of assessment of where we had been and where we wanted to go. When we left the states we no longer observed T-day, and I can say the only part of it that I've missed is setting aside the occasion to reflect.

    So what do I want to say? I want to say I hope that you find that your blessings this T-day are many.

    I want to say that maybe this T-day +1 you might consider looking beyond the excesses of the holiday season. Maybe think about celebrating them in a more modest fashion in terms of what you consume and purchase and in a more extravagent fashion in terms of the time and love spent with your brothers and sisters on this planet.
    Even the ones who don't live in the US. (There are lots of brave and free people outside the land of the free and the brave.) This will be harder than a traditional observance of the holidays (buy, eat, buy, eat). You'll find you are bucking some seriously ingrained commercial imperatives. But to recall an ancient phrase -- the revolution will not be televised.

    Maybe this won't resonate with much of anyone else. That's ok. I've decided to post it anyway.

    Just know that I wish all of you,
    liberals, neo-cons, & anarchists;
    evangelicals, muslims, & athiests;
    red staters, blue staters, and illegal aliens*;
    all of you, a most joyous holiday.




    (*from way afar, but closer than you realise).
     
  2. Proco

    Proco Senior Member

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    I loved your post, Sam. My wife & I try to make our Thanksgiving meaningful & simple. A local restaurant runs a soup kitchen out of a firehouse and we always volunteer for that. We've found that it makes whatever we're eating that night taste better. And we've met people that we'll never forget.

    I remember a couple years ago a man asking me to watch his food because he just remembered he'd left his bible at the train station. He said he had to go back and "get his sword". Now, I'm not religious (or even that spiritual), but this man moved me and I'll never forget him.

    If the weather agrees, we go take a long walk in some local woods.

    We eat simply ... we roast our turkey the day before and use some of our meat for a barbecue turkey pizza. And we toast all the people who are no longer with us.

    We try to make the day a study in simplicity & communing with nature.
     
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