The Wednesday Rant.
November 22, 2017 | Posted in:General
The Wednesday Rant.
The official beginning of the holiday season,the day that we give thanks and stuff ourselves into a food coma, the day that family and friends gather together in great fellowship and cheer, the day we set aside to take stock of our blessings, that pre-game warmup to get our priorities in order, before we buy a shitload of stuff on Black Friday and fall back into the assembly line of consumerism.
The one day a year everyone seated at the table puts aside politics, religion and politics and solely focuses on the blessings that have been bestowed on each of us.
For many, Thanksgiving is a time filled with a great bird, real canned cranberries (the great debate continues but personally, I want to see those rings around my perfectly shaped cranberry loaf) a dozen football games to choose from (I remember when only the Detroit Lions played on Thanksgiving.) The good china comes out, the napkins are cloth and the glasses are clean.
But for many more, Thanksgiving (and Christmas for that matter) is hardly a Martha Stewart experience.
The forgotten, the lost, the lonely, the ill and the missing in action humans endure what so many of us take for granted.
A note from my cousin Bob who has been fighting for years against more health challenges than I can count, had me thinking once again on how important it is to remember those who might not be with us physically on Thanksgiving, and those who sit in a small room somewhere, no family to spend time with, waiting for a nurse or healthcare worker to deliver a turkey dinner, thankful for a few minutes of conversation perhaps.
In so many ways, we are a throw-away society. When something becomes obsolete be it a cell phone or human being, it gets discarded, forgotten…replaced.
However, the circle of life shows us that one day we too become “yesterday’s model” and be it by choice or chance, our turn comes to face this often difficult time of the year, not with the wide-eyed wonder of a child, but often times through the tired, defeated and heavy gaze illness, disease or loss and all the cracks in the human spirit that take their toll over time.
When I was a kid, couldn’t wait for the relatives to show up to the big old Victorian on Berteau Avenue. My pop held court as king and my mom of course was the queen of the castle. Up at 4am to roast the bird for what seemed like an eternity, endless bowls of stuffing, racks of pies, gallons of gravy and perhaps later in the evening another round of cold turkey sandwiches layered with mayonnaise on white bread.
But times change, and people change and eventually leave us, but the memories linger and are bittersweet.
Most of my family has gone ahead of me on the arc of life, that house has been sold three times since my dad passed and its been more than three decades since I heard my mom yell out “Dinner!”
But if I listen closely, I can hear her in my mind.
I cannot imagine what Thanksgiving will be like for families of the 26 slain in Sutherland, Texas or the 58 in Las Vegas or at the tables in Sandy Hook that will always have an empty chair.
Sometimes, its very hard to find something to be thankful for when so much of what comes our way doesn’t validate the gift of life, which no one ever said would be fair or easy…but perhaps that is the gift right there…hidden in plain sight.
Humans above all other creatures have the ability, the choice really to determine what something does or does not mean-to literally define our circumstance rather than letting the circumstance define us.
No matter what they might be.
As Norman Rockwell-ish as it sounds, its imperative to dig for the good, small as it may be, insignificant as it may seem, the tiniest bit of light in a world that often times so very dark.
Why? Because for reasons known (and unknown) what we focus on tends to expand. That expansion creates a ripple effect and that ripple effect goes out and eventually comes back to us.
For the record there are days I get up and after about five minutes in the landfill of FB, filled with news I can’t use I often wonder what is the point?
Then I remind myself that while I cannot control anyone else, I can control my response, while I cannot change the world better, I can make sure the world doesn’t change me for the worse.
That’s the point.
And that starts by giving thanks, as difficult, challenging, sad, or hard as that might be.
For a little perspective consider the following:
If you have food in your fridge, clothes on your back, a roof over your head and a place to sleep you are richer than 75% of the world.
If you have money in the bank, your wallet, and some spare change you are among the top 8% of the world’s wealthy.
If you woke up this morning with more health than illness you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.
If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the agony of imprisonment or torture, or the horrible pangs of starvation vou are luckier than 500 million people alive and suffering.
If you can read this message you are more fortunate than 3 billion people in the world who cannot read it at all.
So consider taking a moment or three, to put a thought on those less fortunate than us. The homeless, the hungry, the lost, the hurting, the suffering and the lonely.
And I wish you a very blessed Thanksgiving.
Be well…safe travels.