Giving Thanks for Thanksgiving

There are so many things that we all have to be thankful for this year. For one, we can all be grateful that this year is winding down and hope 2021 will be better than in 2020. None of us could have foreseen the devastating impact that COVID 19 has bestowed upon the world.

I wasn’t sure how to give thanks for so many things because each of us has different stories to tell. Some folks are so poor financially that they don’t know where their next meal is coming from, much less where they are going to sleep or how they are going to put food on the table. To say I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head and food to eat and share could sound petty to some. Many people take for granted the things in their lives that others would gladly enjoy. Some folks can’t get a good night’s sleep because they have to sleep with one eye open to ensure that they are not harmed or killed throughout the night. I haven’t had to worry about that for a long time and I’m thankful to feel that I can sleep at night without the fear of this. I know that there are many issues in this world that those who are privileged can not begin to fathom. There are so many people that do not have the stresses or anxiety that those without means have. But if I learned anything from those days I had nothing, it was that many of those without nothing have a sense of pride that won’t be stripped from them. They have a sense of family and a closeness to God that should be envied. They have nothing and yet they are armed with everything. It is through their educational stances that I am thankful to have had my eyes opened.

Those of us with white privilege have no concept of what those of color endure. I have family members who are Thai. I will never forget having them attend service with me and my folks one year at our church. There were looks and whispers. I was no stranger to discrimination. I had fallen in love with a black man when I was nineteen in the south. That was taboo. In the early nineties, discrimination was still very strong in the south. It’s gotten better but there is still a stigma that surrounds those actions. When the relationship ended, I was made to feel like I had done something wrong because others did not approve. It taught me a lot about relationships and cultures. I’m thankful for those experiences because it showed me my own biases.

I’m thankful that we have methods of staying in communication during these unprecedented times. I’m thankful that Americans supposedly have the right to free speech as long as it doesn’t step on toes. Notice the sarcasm when I say that? Yes, there are times speech needs to be censored but how can we think for ourselves if we just become “Another Brick in the Wall?” I’m thankful that women are being uplifted more and that their messages are being heard loudly. Women are showing that they are just as qualified as men, sometimes more than their male counterparts. A person’s sex should not determine whether or not they can do a job well. We may not always be comfortable with what women aspire to be, but STEM programs are showing that women can be strong leaders.

This Thanksgiving, I’m thankful for the ability to communicate with those I love and cherish. My hope for each of you is that as the beginning of the holiday season approaches, we all try to have a little more patience with each other. I hope we can all recognize that this has not been a typical year and the amount of stress we’ve all endured has been monumental. Cherish the time you have with your loved ones. Give thanks for the blessings that mean much to you. I’m thankful to all of you who take a moment to read my blog. I enjoy reading many of yours. Let’s all find ways of sharing thanks with one another without making this a holiday of only monetary things. I think we’ve all found that this pandemic has made all of us prioritze our lives. No matter where you are in the world, there is always something in your life that you can give thanks for. Find the Spirit of Thanksgiving by sharing the thanks and peace with others. Be blessed and safe today everyone.

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