As has been so often the case for us in recent years and memory, the pause for the holiday season (and this year Thanksgiving and the first day of Hanukkah both fall on the same day, tomorrow), seems to come at a ‘just in time’ moment as we take stock and recharge our emotional batteries.
Meanwhile across our country, those struggling to make a better life for themselves, their families and their communities seem to have as long a road ahead of them as they did a year ago. Progress, such as it is, sometimes seems to be more in the eye of the beholder rather than milestones on the way to a safe harbor of dignity and safety.
When many of us, sadly not all of us, gather tomorrow to celebrate ourselves, one another and the stories of our histories, we should resolve to use this holiday season to begin to remake the world in which we all live into a better place. Not just for the hungry, the hurting, the homeless or the hopeless but for all of us.
We cannot do everything, but each of us can do something and when you add together all of our somethings, what we will have accomplished is greater than the sum of each individual together.
At our house, I'm looking forward to our son and daughter both joining us for a meal that my wife, Sigrid, will have worked for days to prepare and will be a delicious memory in the time it takes to read this sentence.
I hope you and yours can be together, too. We each know people who can't because they're working-men and women of our armed forces serving in places and situations neither of us have ever heard of, in defense of a way of life we too often take for granted. Remember, too, cops on the corner, emergency response teams and all those assigned to 'holiday staffing’ duty or readying for "Black Friday" sales mania.
I didn’t come over on the Mayflower, but I have seen a lot of John Wayne movies, pilgrim, and unlike the original Thanksgiving, it's not the food or the calendar that makes a holiday. It's the people with whom we share it.
Some of us will spend part of the day counting our blessings, and pining over what we don't have. That inventory and regret makes us who we are as a species, I know, but perhaps in the 86,400 seconds that are the holiday, we can spend one of them being grateful for all that we have. Or perhaps two.
Happy Thanksgiving and Happy Hanukkah.