Giving Thanks, 2016

Me and MOM at GivingThanks Day, 2014

Me and MOM at GivingThanks Day, 2014

 

 

Has there Ever Been a More Welcome Holiday!?
Has there Ever Been a Better Time?

Pause and Give Thanks!
STOP!
BREATHE…
Let us Take a Moment and Just Be Grateful for What We Have!
Give Thanks to God
Or The Universe
Or Each Other
Or Whatever Divine Force You May Believe In
Or Just to The Air
Or the Sun
Or the Moon!
Just Speak It!
Just say it OUT LOUD,
Even to No One, in particular!
Just say the Words, “Thank You!”
Then we can go back to our Angst and Frustration and Politicizing and Pain
And Confusion and Wallowing in a State of Perceived Lack…
Our Problems will still be there when we’re done.
But the Point of this Holiday
Is to Pause and Give Thanks.

We do it through Nurturing with Food
And with Visits
And with Camaraderie
We Celebrate the Harvest
The Abundance in our Lives, in all forms
We can do it just by Giving a Smile
Or some Kindness
Just a Kindness.
It can be as small as speaking politely to a SuperMarket Clerk
Or Thanking Someone Else for their Service or for Working on a Holiday so that You and I can get where we’re going
Or Have Emergency Medical Care if we need it
Or Buy Our Groceries.

It can be Reaching Out!
Reaching Out to a Neighbor who maybe needs some help,
Or a non-Neighbor.
It can be as simple as Holding a Door for Someone
Or being the first to say, “Excuse Me, Please,” as we bump into one another,
Or Looking into some one person’s eyes and acknowledging their existence.
People need to be acknowledged right now.
Lately, America feels like a Society of Unacknowledged Souls in Pain.
And Today, we Pause.
We say, “Hello in There!”


We Give Thanks!
We Acknowledge One Another with Kindness,
Even those with whom we disagree,
Even those with whom we disagree at the same Dinner Table!

For a Moment, we pause.
We Actively Choose to see the Good in People.
We inhibit the response to disparage one another.
We simply put our disagreements aside.
We say Kind Things.
Because Kindness cannot be far behind a Grateful Heart and a Grateful Mind.

Oh, I know.
Our Spirits are bruised right now.
It hurts.
It all feels So Unsafe.
But, just for Today, may we let go of the Assumption that we are going to Live Forever
And the Idea that we have plenty of time to wallow in Grief and anticipate the Worst.
We don’t.
Today.
That is what any of us has.
The Richest Among us has no More
And the Poorest has no Less.
So, would it be too much to put aside our differences, our fears and our worries
For One Day

Current Expressions along the Union Square Subway Station in New York

Current Expressions along the Union Square Subway Station in New York

And Celebrate all that is Good
All our Gifts
And All that for which we can be Grateful?
We can go back to all that other stuff tomorrow.

Oh, I know.
The Origins of this Holiday are Dubious at Best.
And the Current State of Affairs, some 400 years Later,
is oddly reflective of the Worst of it:
Standing Rock is truly one of the most horrible events in our Nations History.
Perhaps we can Pause a Moment and Pray for the Native Americans at Standing Rock and all those there Supporting them.
It appears that Corporate Greed has overtaken our Government and our Government is in Violation of Centuries Old Peace Treaties with Native Americans.
Election Results received merely two weeks ago have shaken many of us to the Core!
(Can you Believe it’s Only Two Weeks!?)
Lots of Bad Stuff Going On.
But, whatever one may feel about the Origins of this Holiday,
It Celebrates a lot of People who had a Lot Going On,
Scared and Anxious about their Futures —
Worried, and with Way Too Much to Do,
Who Paused for a Moment.
People from Both Sides of the Table — Different Cultures, Different Ideas —
Coming Together to share a Meal,
And Celebrate their Similarities,
Their Humanity,
Their Great Spirit,
The Gift of the Harvest,
And the Gift of One Another,
And saying “Thank You!”
To One Another
And to Mother Earth,
To the Universe that Created them, that Loves them, and Sustains them…

And Perhaps in the True Tradition of this Holiday,
We may give ourselves the Gift of that Full Experience.

MOM has an Aide helping her now. The Woman is Jamaican and so I made a Jamaican Rum Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake this Year. You can find the recipe here: http://cooklikeajamaican.com/pineapple-upside-down-cake/

MOM has an Aide helping her now. The Woman is Jamaican and so I made a Jamaican Rum Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake this Year. You can find the recipe here: http://cooklikeajamaican.com/pineapple-upside-down-cake/

Give Thanks!
Give Thanks Hard!
Give Thanks to Everyone!
For Everything!
Give Thanks Out Loud!
Give Thanks in Small Ways,
In Big Ways,
In All Ways!
Give So Much Thanks that your Problems fade away because there is No Room for them amidst such a Tsunami of Gratitude!
Give Thanks in a Way that Surprises
And Delights
And Hurts at First!
GIVE THANKS in Ways that are Unfamiliar!
GIVE THANKS Together!
GIVE THANKS Quietly and in Prayer!
Say “Thank You” a Hundred Times Today!
Take Your Lipstick and Write “I’m Grateful!” on your Bathroom Mirror!
Take a non-toxic-Ink Pen and Write “I’m Grateful!” on your Hand!
Look at it several times today!
Be Grateful!

GIVE THANKS!

HAPPY GIVING THANKS DAY!

Happy GivingThanks Day!

Happy GivingThanks Day!

 


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4 Comments

  1. Happy Thanksgiving Arnold! Sharing your wisdom in the way that only you can do again. I love it! I am grateful to just be alive this year. That is where my thoughts were as I looked out my windows to see the black charred frame of a house standing there , reminding me of the neighbor who was no longer with us and wasn’t as lucky as I to be standing here today having the privilege of eating another meal with his family. Life is so precious and I am so grateful for just being here that nothing else much matters. I am grateful for so much.

    Reply
  2. Best holiday of all. Not about stuff, in spite of Black Friday. Not about old grievances. They can wait. Just about love in all its peculiar, achingly complex meandering, and being grateful for being on the planet, with the means to share a feast.

    Reply

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