Thanksgiving is founded in paying tribute to Gods after the fall harvest, times of prosperity, merrymaking, and the often cited homeostatic bond between Native Americans and settlers establishing Plymouth. The history.com article presents a nice depiction of the history of Thanksgiving and its evolution to what exists today. Additionally, Thanksgiving symbolizes, to many Native Americans, a time of blood shed, feud, and controversy that remains today, which is often overlooked by the now commercialized process. Furthermore, as the White House saw fit under the care of Franklin D. Roosevelt (1939) the economy needed spurring, which placed the holiday on the fourth Thursday of the month removing its place from the third Thursday. Let me get this straight…the holiday founded in God, harvest, well-being, healing went to “spurring the Great Depression.” It now is the marker of Black Friday, Cyber Monday, stampedes, tramples, deaths–I chose not to ad a link as to not promote glamorized tragedies. It seems there remains blood shed attached to what historically has been promoted as a prosperous, bountiful, God inspired experience.
The other day when procuring the pumpkin pie at the local Costco, I found myself detached as there was, not a grateful feeling, but a selfish and self-centered energy running rampant through the over crowded warehouse–pushing, banging, narrowness of purpose. I found myself surging with feelings of sadness and empathy for those that live unconsciously, moving about like robots, mechanically, coldly meeting their objectives–missing opportunities. Walking the isles of the stores, whether it be Costco or your favorite Walmart, people move about with an obligatory purpose, often times, fulfilling what has become a commercialized string of holidays.
Here is where I will get a bit deep and philosophical as I am guilty of all these things mentioned, and to see the words spilled out as I type, presents an opportunity to me that I do not have to participate. Upon leaving the Costco, I was able to help an older lady, struggling with a heavy item, lift the item into her car and return her cart for her; return a calendar, sitting on a cart, someone had forgotten to pack in their car; and I offered my height to a wheelchair bound man at the Walmart the week before. I am not looking for accolades or congratulations, as this is not my intent–my intent is that we have a choice today in how we interact with one another. This choice, for me, has not always been conscious as I lived unconsciously for years. To use a cliche, and often times misunderstood, I had to die before I could wholly live. This certainly was the case for me that began this quest of :::Change::: beginning nearly seven years ago, and has brought about a new way of living life with rewards unimaginable.
To see how I can be part of the solution, I first had to acknowledge I was part of the problem–a difficult task for sure–however, one we all can contribute. This year has provided my family and I the opportunity to refine what life is, as there has been significant loss that changes ones perspective. In fact, should one be aware in times of difficulty, doors often times open allowing us the opportunity to step through them and take healthy risks. To be grateful, even in times of difficulty, is a daily practice as I believe it becomes a natural tendency for the mind to become negative, cynical, spiteful, selfish and self-centered. A daily practice of gratitude is needed to achieve an interconnection Thanksgiving promotes….do your part and remember this is water!