Thanksgiving Observations

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Opinions

Photo by Hannah Busing

Thanksgiving Observations

by | Nov 24, 2022 | Opinions

Photo by Hannah Busing
What are we really celebrating with Thanksgiving? Perhaps we really need to rethink Thanksgiving to be more inclusive of everyone in our population. This may be controversial in our overly sensitive times.

This is the week in which we give thanks. Thanksgiving to some is a very controversial holiday as it celebrates our pilgrim heritage. Except for many of use we have no pilgrim heritage. Our ancestors came here as immigrants, or our ancestors were already here (Native Americans). Were the pilgrims the first immigrants to these shores? It would seem so.

Thank traces back to meaning think or thought but also conveying favor, grace, pleasure, satisfaction, and gratitude. It is a most gracious word and to me it implies a complete appreciation for the recipient of the thanks.

Let’s get back to Thanksgiving and the spirit in which it originated. The first Thanksgiving that was pounded into our heads from elementary school onwards featured our pilgrims dining al fresco with Native Americans of the Wampanoags tribe. Of course, once dinner was done, the settlers attacked their indigenous neighbors.

The concept of Thanksgiving was reiterated during the Civil War as Lincoln attempted to unite the country. It served its purpose then and even now folks get a bit misty-eyed when thinking of things, we are grateful for. That is if you can hear the message beyond all the clamoring for Black Friday!

So, what are we really celebrating? Better yet, what should we really be celebrating? Perhaps we really need to rethink Thanksgiving to be more inclusive of everyone in our population. This may be controversial in our rather sensitive, overly sensitive times. Perhaps, it is a time for atonement and accountability, not to shift blame or point fingers but rather to open our hearts and minds so we understand what has taken place and how we can move forward.

And it is vital to move forward together as a team. Someone once cleverly stated there is no “I” in team. I suppose the “I” they were referring to was about being selfish. I beg to differ, there is an “I” in team and that “I “stands for individuals. And that is what we must be—individuals bound together by common sane cause with the emphasis on sane.

We are not a perfect nation nor a perfect union, but we are and have been a cultivating force in the world. The fact that I can freely write this and publish it for the world to see is rather fantastic and should never be taken for granted. The constitution enables us to correct our not-so-perfect union.

This constitution was created to grow and adjust to the times is fundamentally a great document as is of course, the Declaration of Independence. What must be also included in this sequence is the incredible Declaration of Human Rights. These three documents when adhered to provide a guide to how to create a truly great civilization.

We cannot be allowed to rule by divisiveness. We must find common ground in mutually beneficial goals. This I would give thanks to. With that in mind, I wish you a splendid Thanksgiving and may all your dreams come to fruition!

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe

Lawrence George Jaffe is an internationally known and an award-winning writer, author, and poet. For his entire professional career, Jaffe has been using his art to promote human rights. He was the poet-in-residence at the Autry Museum of Western Heritage, a featured poet in Chrysler’s Spirit in the Words poetry program, co-founder of Poets for Peace (now Poets without Borders) and helped spearhead the United Nations Dialogue among Civilizations through Poetry project which incorporated hundreds of readings in hundreds of cities globally using the aesthetic power of poetry to bring understanding to the world.


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