Thanksgiving. The day itself. I’m thankful that a day exists to stop and reflect on our gifts, our blessings, our accomplishments, our dreams, our loved ones, and our values. Abraham Lincoln said it best:
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.
Whether you relate to the presence of God that Lincoln spoke of in reference to Thanksgiving, no doubt we can all agree that perhaps even more importantly than taking a day to acknowledge all that lets us count our lucky stars, we must also remember all that needs to done; all who need our help. For those with a void of things to be thankful for, we must create those things. So today I’m going to list some things I’m not thankful for, and I’m going to vow to do what I can to make the list shorter this time next year. Not thankful for:
Hunger, not just in the third world but in our backyard. I’m surrounded by hungry faces every day in downtown L.A. and Venice Beach. I can do more.
Disease. I’m tired of losing people. I’m tired of sick friends. I’m grateful the list is short, but one friend lost is one too many.
Access to healthcare. Goes hand in hand with the above. I lost a friend earlier this year and partially due to the fact that he did not have affordable access to healthcare. This makes me sick. I hope it changes. Obamacare, you give me hope. Please work!
Anxiety. It weasels it’s way into my life too often. Away with you!
That lady who killed that lion and sits next to it like a trophy in that picture with that ugly smile on her face. Ugly. Face. Ugly. Ugly. Don’t like her.
The endless battle of opinions. I think it’s grand how the internet has turned us all into experts on everything; but I think it’s important to remember that none of us actually knows anything about anything. While it’s great to have opinions and to get engaged, I wish we did so with more respect. I enjoy engaging in debate with friends on Facebook, but I insist we keep things civil. This country is currently led by a bunch of buffoons who can’t stop name-calling. Let’s do it better. Don’t let the anonymity of the computer screen zap all of your empathy.
I won’t go on and on, I just wanted to list a few things that I’d personally like to focus on in the next year to enrich not only my life, but hopefully my neighbor’s as well. Happy Thanksgiving everyone. I’m thankful for you!
And I really strongly dislike that lady with the lion.
See ya tomorrow