We’ve all heard that gratitude is an attitude. And the concept of an attitude means that it is part of one’s trait or character. It’s not something confined to one day out of the year. Perhaps one day of thankfulness might jumpstart us into being grateful and thoughtful on the other 364 days. I’m still hoping and praying. But I do know that some folk are pretty ambivalent about this one day called Thanksgiving. For some, it’s a history rooted in pain and suffering. It’s a day where we feast while ignoring the origins of our celebratory gatherings. It’s a day where Americans have been socialized to be thankful one day out of the year. It’s one day where we provide food and service to those who are less fortunate year round. And the hypocrisy of this one day of thankfulness rests on the pain and genocide of others. For more information on the origins of Thanksgiving, I urge you to read chapter 3 of the best-selling book, Lies My Teacher Told Me: Everything Your American History Textbook Got Wrong by James W. Loewen. It’s an eye-opening read.
In the meantime, enjoy your day off, have a wonderful meal with friends and family. If you choose a time of solitude, enjoy as well. But remember, every day is a day of thanksgiving and a day of service!
While we are celebrating Thanksgiving, let us remember the Native Americans of North Dakota who are currently fighting to protect the land. There were recently tear gassed and while the temperatures dipped below freezing levels, they sprayed with high power water hoses reminiscent of the 1950s and 1960s Civil Rights Movement of African Americans. Not much has changed. If we are not careful, our country will continue to revert back to these tactics. Remember, injustice anywhere, is a threat to justice everywhere.