Saturday, November 30, 2013
This holiday, my middle daughter was committed to attending her boyfriend's family holiday meal midday and then planned to partake in our Thanksgiving meal in the evening. She was concerned about having to eat similar menus twice with the obvious overstuffed consequences. I am somewhat of a traditionalist but I decided the easiest approach to the double meal dilemma would be to add burrito wraps and homemade pinto beans to our menu. That allowed Val and her boyfriend to enjoy turkey burritos without having to eat a repeat Thanksgiving meal again. We even blended up some Margaritas to sip, fueling a somewhat international flair to our festive celebration.
More important than the food though, is the character of your heart at Thanksgiving. I would hope folks express thankfulness for their bounty more than once a year. I'm not referencing a religious experience here at all, just an acknowledgment that simply awakening, safe and whole to another day is praiseworthy. Regardless, given human social constructs, a day to live is an amazing gift and so full of potential.
Sometimes I think we Americans do not realize how safe we are, how rich we are, nor how free we are; just look around the world... Frequently, I mention first world problems, referencing the difficulties we as a wealthy culture frequently despair; stuff like "nothing to wear," (really? the closet is empty?), or any number of possession lacking laments. More serious though, "I lost my job, I can't make the bills," yet our country has a safety net of unemployment & food stamps. Even if you are homeless, there are shelters and soup kitchens if you choose to use them.
Now look at Syria, where citizens are being targeted by not only their government but random militias, deprived of food, water and safe housing, then finally, forced to seek shelter in a foreign land with just the clothes on their backs. Are our issues so severe? There are no Black Friday shopping bonanzas for them.
I am not wealthy by U.S. standards, but I have more than I need to survive, as well as the capability to provide a wonderful family feast (granted, I bought the turkey last December, on sale). We also have the luxury of eating together safely and enjoying the leftovers. Truly, I am rich and for this I am very, very thankful.