Thanksgiving is a holiday unique to Americans. The significance of its origins, however, has been overshadowed by its juxtaposition between the commercialism of Halloween, the increasingly secular and commercial celebration of Christmas, and its focus on overindulgence in food and beverage, parades, TV specials and football games. Somewhere along the way we forgot the circumstances under which Native Americans and Pilgrims came together to not only share a meal but in the attempt to bridge the cultural divide between them.
Building relationships and finding commonality in our humanity has given way to cynicism, pessimism, exclusion, fear, violence, and hatred. These dynamics separate and isolate us. Instead of welcoming the diversity that forged a nation, we are focused on our differences.
Are we thankful only for the characteristics that make us individually unique, or are we thankful for everything and everyone that has brought us to this point in our history? People of all faiths, beliefs, and opinions had a hand in building this country.
Tomorrow extend your thanks beyond family and friends. Resolve to love, laugh, grieve, and strive for a better tomorrow in unison with others whose expression of those same emotions and aspirations may seem alien to you, but whose dreams are your own.