The fourth Thursday in November is usually viewed as a day to spend time with family, express gratitude, and watch sporting events, but for Native Americans it is a Day of Mourning. What is a cause of celebration for some is a day to remember how Native Americans have been treated since the arrival of the Europeans to the Americas.
Even today they continue to be treated like less than citizens. Their loss of prosperity began by taking away their land. On top of that they were violated, chased away, enslaved, cheated out of their territories, sickened by European diseases, and killed in a holocaust that has never been numbered or acknowledged.
Nevertheless, what I like about Thanksgiving Day is the possibility of expressing gratefulness for all the good things that happen daily.
In reading about the catastrophic fires in the west, besides the death and destruction are stories of giving and sharing that make you realize the goodness of mankind, especially in times on uncertainty. There have been people caring not only for their fellow humans, but also for pets and animals in general, in ways that show you how we are one with nature, and when nature is affected and destroyed, we all suffer an the consequences.
We have also been reading about and watching the caravan of immigrants from Central America, as they are approaching the border in their quest to ask for asylum.
They have endured long walks under all sorts of weather, carrying very little, accompanied by children of all ages, pregnant women, old and young people looking for a better place to live and work. They are desperate, but they are courageous. They have created a ‘family’ with those walking alongside, and also have felt the tender hearts of people who along the way have provided food and water to them. The countries they have crossed have not responded to their pain and needs, but the Mexican peoples have been generous and solidary. The food they have received has not come from the government or any organized group, instead it has appeared from the hands of workers; housewives, with their hands just as dark and work-worn as those who are receiving them. The givers know about scarcity, pain and uncertainty. The receivers remember that maybe not long ago, they also were able to share with others.
I am grateful for the armies of volunteers who man this country. The hospitals, schools, organizations, etc would not be able to accomplish any tasks, if it weren’t for those volunteers who give so much of themselves.
United States has a strong base of volunteers, and probably the country would be better run by some of them, who continously are in touch with the needs and difficulties of common people, rather than the politicians that populate the capital and capital cities. Those who have used so much of their time in lobbying, fundraising and such, that they have not had the time to be involved in the lives of the people they are supposed to represent.
On this Thanksgiving Day, I would like to thank all those precious individuals that make life a better place for the community they live in. Thank God for the legions of everyday angels among us.
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