The Last Thanksgiving
It feels strange being thankful for a world that we are destroying. Thanksgiving is a traditional harvest festival with the common theme of sharing food that has been harvested. That is tied to respect for the land and its wealth we have reaped over the previous year.
The land and planet we all share is our commonwealth, yet that ancient concept has been lost over the centuries in America. The harvest feast is shared, but the land, our biome, and the planet are taken for granted.
In America, we are to be thankful for our family and friends, but little goes beyond personal success and well-being. Our thanks are very economical and selfish.
But this, along with almost everything else that we do, must change. The need for that is shown by the growing tendency to fear Thanksgiving, which often devolves into political arguments,
In a culture struggling with the failure of its empire and the resulting political collapse, facing a future of environmental disaster, economic anxiety, and hardship, all based on the worship of greed, someone must be blamed. That does not produce generosity and love.
This certainly wasn’t always the case. The stereotypical political confrontations between young and old weren’t always the case. They seem to have evolved in my lifetime, but maybe my memories of family Thanksgiving are too long ago and inaccurate.
Growing up in middle America in the 1950s at America’s peak, at least for those of us who were white and middle class, Thanksgiving was not a fight. My parents and grandparents had not grown up as middle-class but as farmers and railroad workers suspicious of merchants, bankers, and the distant wealthy.
In the wake of World War II, every family had veterans, and my parent’s generation did not forget thankfulness for their safe return. With November bracketed by Veterans Day and Thanksgiving, it was easy.
That pattern was broken after the Vietnam War. Those of us from that war knew the truth. There were no winners, and those who returned were often never the same.
From a total focus on capitalist greed, we all know what we have become. Even those who work to deny…