Monday, December 01, 2008

Giving Thanks on Thanksgiving

In past years giving thanks at Thanksgiving time has never been that heartfelt for me . I could always think of things to be thankful for but at the same time I felt the holiday was kind of superficial as were my expression of thanks.

This year was different. On the Saturday before Thanksgiving the news reported this story about a farm in Colorado opening their fields to anyone who wanted to pick the potatoes, leeks and carrots left over from this year's harvest. The owners expected no more the 5,00 people but over 40,000 showed up.

The day before Thanksgiving news that a terrorist attack in India had killed and wounded many. By the time this incident ended on Friday up to 150 people were dead in the city of Mumbai and over twice that number injured.

On Thanksgiving day a family of seven were killed when the driver of the SUV they were traveling in lost control, careened off an overpass on Interstate 25, slammed into a concrete embankment, and exploded into flames.

Then, the day after Thanksgiving, news that a Wal-Mart employee at a Long Island Wal-Mart store was trampled to dead by a mob of shoppers.

Two of these events opened my eyes to a couple of things that I have taken for granted in the past; my family's safety and the fact that that we all have enough food to eat. This year I am deeply grateful for both.

Now, It may not seem so but I usually think about a post for awhile before I blog it. This morning as I mulled over what I was going to write I read the comics in the Denver Post. One of the strips I read is Sally Forth and in today's episode Sally and her husband are in their car with their GPS unit stuck in "Existential Mode." The GPS is saying the following:

"You are lost, you have rejected any and all philosophies and faiths and so are adrift and alienated in a world you alone define but cannot comprehend."

Reading that made me thankful that I was not one of the people in that Wal-Mart crowd nor so spiritually bankrupt that I would gladly die in order to kill defenseless people. My soul is neither so empty that I think material things can fill the void nor so full of hatred that the only way I can express myself is by killing. For this I am also grateful.

Right now the words to Marvin Gaye's song What's Going On? are playing in my head:

Mother, mother
There's too many of you crying
Brother, brother, brother
There's far too many of you dying
You know we've got to find a way
To bring some lovin' here today...
Oh, what's going on?
What's going on?

What is going on people? In the world, in our society, in our heads, in our hearts, and in our souls. Somebody please tell me, what's going on?

No comments: