As I anticipate going over to our neighbors (in less than two hours!), I've found myself wondering whether anyone will make a similar suggestion. In anticipation of the possibility, I've looked up "thankful" in Webster's:
1: conscious of benefit received <for what we are about to receive make us truly ~>I have long thought that thankfulness in the first sense is too important to relegate to a single day of the year, for such mindfulness encourages compassion and humility. We might not have been so lucky. Can we justify thinking that we deserve our luck more than others deserve their lack of it?
2: expressive of thanks <~ service>
3: well-pleased: GLAD <he was ~ that the room was dark>
But Thanksgiving as an annual event, as a holiday, tends to make us think about things from a larger perspective, even a national one. But I've already been thankful ever since November 4 that come January 20 we won't need to put quotes around "president" any more. A larger perspective for me is remembering some of the people (such as Gary) who can't be with us (or with anyone else) today. They died young or they died violently or they just died unexpectedly.
On this particular Thanksgiving, I will remember that, for the "national turkey" named Pumpkin pardoned yesterday by our current "president," there are literally millions of turkeys that were recently slaughtered (or slaughtered weeks ago and frozen) so that creatures higher on the food chain could gorge themselves today. And lots of other animals as well. To me, that's very sad. In a couple of hours I mean to be mindful of the sacrifice of the free-range turkey our neighbors have been baking this morning.
PostscriptActually, only one of our neighbors baked the turkey; the other baked a cut of free-range pig. Unfortunately, each animal's flesh was so delicious (as also was the sweet potatoes, the stuffing, the cranberry sauce, the brown gravy, the Brussels sprouts and carrots, the green beans, the dinner rolls, and the wine, all followed by pumpkin pie, chocolate-pecan-Kahlua-bourbon pie, wine cake, and New Orleans chickory coffee) I barely paused to remember that the two animals had been deprived of their range, not to mention their lives, for the very purpose that distracted me.
It isn't easy to be thankful, especially in America, where we have perhaps too much to be thankful for.