Today, in the United States, it is a holiday called Thanksgiving. I won’t go into the history of the holiday, for frankly the history we all learned in our early school years was a white-washed lie. But, for most of us the holiday lives on anyway, as we try to spend it with family and friends, remembering that no matter what is happening outside our front door, we still have much reason to be thankful … we live, we breathe, we have family and friends who love us, a roof over our head and food on our table … so much more than some people have.
That said … this year is a different kind of Thanksgiving. The pandemic has had us in its grip for ten long months now, many of us have lost loved ones, our lives have been turned topsy-turvy, some have lost jobs and even their homes. It feels … almost surreal, almost like a dream (nightmare) from which we keep hoping to waken.
For four years now, we in the U.S. have lived under a regime whose modus operandi was ‘divide and conquer’ and we have all paid a hefty price. We are exhausted from it all, from trying to stay atop the latest ways in which our government was undermining our very foundations, blatantly disregarding our democratic processes, and indeed, our very lives. We’ve lived with the most corrupt regime ever to occupy the highest echelons of the federal government in this country – if we thought that Richard Nixon was a crook … well, he looks like a cute puppy compared to the band of criminals whose salaries we’ve paid for four years now.
Today it was announced that new unemployment claims jumped to 78,000 from 18,000 the week before. In the week of the election, nearly 26 million adults – 12% of all the adults in the nation – reported that their household didn’t have enough to eat. As many as 40,000 people are behind on their rent or mortgage payments and at risk of losing their home. When you look at this, you have to wonder – is there really anything to be thankful for?
My answer to that is that yes, despite it all, there is a lot to be thankful for. We have just elected a good man, a decent and kind man to be our next president. He is an intelligent man, has decades of experience in our government, first in the Senate and then for eight years as Vice President. He is carefully choosing the best of the best for his cabinet and administration advisors. He cares about the environment, he cares about the average person, he has a plan … he has a plan. Joe Biden said something yesterday that was exactly what my favourite former boss once said to me … he said he wants his experts to tell him what he needs to know, not what he wants to hear. That … that in itself is a breath of fresh air.
Yes, problems will still remain and I have no illusions that they can be resolved in a single four-year term, but … Biden and his team will do their level best to repair as much of the damage that has been done to this nation as possible. Biden will be a president for the people, not just the wealthy CEOs of big corporations. I listened to a clip from Joe Biden’s pre-Thanksgiving speech earlier tonight and I suddenly felt more confident, safer, and more hopeful than I have in the past four years.
The one thing, though, that We the People must do in order to help restore some semblance of order in our world is find a way to start resolving our differences. This nation is more divided today than at any other time since 1865. Hatred and violence are constant and exhausting. We must begin finding ways to listen to one another, to forge a middle ground where we can meet halfway, for if we don’t, our nation will fail. The ‘United’ States will become a conglomerate of separate countries, constantly at war with one another.
I will admit that my heart is not into the holidays this year, and were it not for the girls, I would be quite content to skip Thanksgiving and Christmas altogether. I’m sure some of you feel the same. But friends, when we stop and think about it, we do have much to be thankful for. So, you can’t travel to Aunt Sadie’s for Thanksgiving dinner, or host Grammie ‘n Grampie. It’s not the end of the world. It’s sad, but it’s not the end of the world. Take a deep breath, remember that tomorrow the sun will come up, it will be a new day, and 24 hours closer to January 20th. And now, I ask you to listen to this short clip, just 2 minutes 45 seconds, of parts of Joe Biden’s Thanksgiving speech yesterday. And then, off you go to cook that turkey or emu, as it were! Enjoy your Thanksgiving, keep safe, don’t over-stuff your bellies, and remember … you have much to be thankful for … we all do. Love ‘n hugs from Filosofa.