OK. Thanksgiving morning, sipping coffee, playing around on the web, waiting for Ann to wake up so we can do whatever we’re doing to do today. No plans, will probably just eat too much, watch some football and some movies, same as we’d do just about any other weekend day (except for the feasting part).
And yes, I’m thankful for many things: my wife, my family, my friends, my job, my dog, hints that democracy might be making a comeback in the US, growing grassroots outrage at the evils of corporate capitalism, etc.
But every year, as I wake up on Thanksgiving morning, I can’t help but wonder why we (whoever the “we” is that makes these decisions) feel like we need one day each year to take time out, to offer our thanks and good wishes, and to begin planning our Christmas-season shopping assault. Why, that is, aren’t we more thankful (in public, out loud) every day? How much different would the world look if we were as friendly and polite and grateful to each other *all* the time as we are on specific days that are earmarked for doing so? It’s hard to imagine, actually, but I’m having some fun trying.
Imagine what the “pro-troops”/”anti-war” vigils in West Chester would look like if instead of waving signs and shouting invective across the street at each other, we stopped to say, “Thanks for being an example of how democracy is supposed to work.” Or, “Although we disagree with you, thanks for taking a stand you really believe in.” Or if everybody waved the sign I suspect both sides could accept (at least most of us), “Thanks to the brave men and women who risk their lives, and thanks to the caring citizens who want them to live out their lives.” Or, “Thanks to the people who protect democracy from outside attack and from inside erosion.”
No, those aren’t great slogans to put on signs, but you get the idea.
Wouldn’t that be fun? And what to make of people who refused to acknowledge them? That would be fun too. As I’ve written here before, the world sure would look different if people had to live according to the principles they say they believe. This would be another good way of finding out who does and doesn’t, or at least of forcing people to articulate what they actually do believe.
Now THAT’s something I’d set aside a special day to be thankful for.
Enjoy your t(of)urkey and pumpkin pie. And be nice.