Today we are joining my eldest daughter’s in-laws to partake of a feast. Several Facebook posts this morning have caused me to take a few moments to really ponder today and what it means to me. I warn you, the reader, that this may not be the generous loving and grateful blog that Thanksgiving Day is viewed to embrace. So, with that being said, here we go! But wait, let me get on my Soap Box first!
If we really consider what this day supposedly commemorates, we see the oxymoron at issue. First of all, the pilgrims that are portrayed as being benevolent and kind to the people inhabiting this land is a false picture. The first settlers were not the generous and loving people who embraced the native people and listened to their wise teachings. Quite the opposite, actually. The native inhabitants had enjoyed incredible freedom and prosperity honoring the land to which the creator had blessed. The first white Anglo-Saxon settlers saw this people as barbaric and savage not truly deserving any fruits of their harvest. I won’t go into a history lesson here, but the natives generously shared what they had and taught the settlers how to work with the land only to receive, not gratitude, but thievery and genocide. Read about it yourself.
With that being said, and placing those events aside, the truth is, we celebrate this day with great feasting choosing to embrace the actions of the settlers and the first feast giving thanks for surviving their first year in this land. Yes, they did share with the natives at the first feast, only to start their rampage after the first year when they were sure they could indeed survive here. So, let’s consider the gratitude part.
We are reminded today to be grateful for all that we have in our lives – our families, our friends, the food we share, the company we share, the fruits of our labors. Then after the feast has been devoured, the football games watched, and we are passed out in bliss, many of us will rise up to rush to the early shopping day for Christmas in at attitude of getting more stuff cheaper and before anyone else has an opportunity to grab what we really do not need, but in our greed, must have. Granted there are indeed bargains to be had, and for those of us without unlimited funds, this may be the only opportunity we see to secure that most coveted Christmas gifts for our little Johnnys and Susies. In the meantime, big box stores such as Target, Wal-Mart, K-Mart, and Kohl’s choose to open on Thanksgiving evening pulling their employees to leave their families and fight the hoards of shoppers that just could not wait until 8:00 am Friday morning to shop – it’s a life and death matter, you know.
I remember on Thanksgiving Day when nothing – I do mean nothing – was open. Family time was a sacred thing and no respecting employer would give a second thought to open on this day for shopping. Black Friday started at 10:00 am instead of midnight, and guess what! Somehow, we all were able to find the perfect gifts for those we loved without issue and at bargain prices with plenty for everyone.
What does this have to do with the first feast? Plenty! The greed that is exhibited is a perfect example of the greed of the first settlers that desired the land on which the native people lived, worked, and played. It was that greed that created such a horrendous genocide of a people. The difference is that now our greed is exhibited in the rush into the glittering shiny store pulling and grabbing gifts out of each other’s hands and acting like spoiled little toddlers who believe the world should revolve around them. Frankly, I find it shameful. There are always deals to be had and gifts to be purchased at discount prices. Camping out two to three days outside of Best Buy,missing time with family, and rampaging into the store running over people who get in our way is ludicrous and shameful and is the epitome of greed.
Oh, I understand that some of these prices just can’t be had and without these prices some people would not be able to have the next big thing. But look at what you do have! Are you grateful for the 42″ flat screen in your living room, or do you just have to have the 52″ so that you can see the game better? Some people have nothing even close to a 26″, and yet they are so grateful and generous with what they do have.
I getting down from my soap box is over now, and my rant is coming to an end; however, I wish to leave you with this one thought today. When I look at today and my gratitude list, the very first item on the list is the opportunity to rant and get on my soap box. Number two on the list? I am grateful that through it all, I have the support of my family and those few friends that love me for who and what I am – not who or what they want me to be. I am grateful that we have the financial resources with which to share food and gifts with each other. I am grateful that I have a warm place to sleep at night. I am grateful that I have internet in which to share my thoughts and feelings. But most of all? I am grateful for myself and the realization that I am a pretty awesome woman who loves and lives passionately. I am not perfect, but I am me – and for that I show extreme gratitude!
Now, Happy Thanksgiving!