It’s that time of year…November is the “month seed” that blossoms abundant holiday goodness and blooms into plentiful joy and merriment until the year’s end. Wouldn’t it be nice if the biggest decision we had to contemplate this month was “Turkey or ham for Thanksgiving dinner?”
Thanksgiving. The festive annual holiday commemorating the harvest festival celebrated by the Pilgrims of 1621, honored on the fourth Thursday of November. A day to express gratitude to one another as well as to whom you proclaim your Divine. It is a day to give and offer thanks.
Interesting that every four years it is also the same month met with great societal divide. The very month intended to bring us closer together, to unify in the spirit of gratitude and appreciation for all we hold sacred is carved up like a Thanksgiving Day turkey -- because every four years, November also marks a major election year. And an election in and of itself means separation, differing views, dissent, rift and adversarial challenges.
I’d like to say it should be easy for us to get on the “spirit of gratitude train” and lay it all aside. It’s Thanksgiving for goodness sakes! But clearly, that is oversimplifying the reality of what is the overwhelming desire for people to share, express and move through the emotional and political climate that presents itself.
Our freedom is yet another wonderful gift of which to offer thanks and I say this following the honoring of Veterans Day, also recognized in November. Soldiers and Sailors boldly and bravely battled for this country and sacrifice blood, sweat, and lives for our freedom. And yes, that includes freedom of speech. Your speech and mine. Your freedom to express yourself about the election and anything else you desire.
The right to vote is an awesome responsibility and privilege. Each person has their own reasons for choosing his or her own candidate. We are each unique individuals. Some of us do not share the same religious beliefs. Others do not share similar thoughts on a lot of things. From the serious to the silly, we vary as people and a human race. We are each our own unique person. And on so many levels we love our country because of our willingness and welcoming of diversity and acceptance. But when it comes to politics, we get extremely passionate and perhaps not so tolerant of contrasting views.
You have the right to vote. And theoretically--you also have a right to gloat. The First Amendment gives you that. But I am thinking your parents gave you something more supreme--and that was the inherent attribute of respect for others. This isn’t a blog about who won or lost the election or even politics, per se. It is about exhibiting basic positive character traits to one another and showing general decency and respect for fellow friends, neighbors and human kind.
In fact, I’d go so far as to say there are safe places where each of us can share freely as we desire without judgement—and you know with whom you can do this with and who your safe allies and companionable zones are in your life. I know who mine are. And there is no destructive offenses in my safe human harbor, because these conversations shared in my protected human habitat are with an audience that has been carefully vetted. We are aligned—and if we aren’t—we understand just the same that we are not detrimental to one another’s beliefs—and we share one supreme and non-negotiable element in our conversations, respect.
This isn’t about my political opinion or yours. It is about graciousness, being courteous, and being considerate. To take it a step forward, to wish ill or failure on something that we are all an integral and vital part of, is like being a passenger in a stage coach and wishing the driver to run the horses and the coach right off the side of a steep mountainous cliff. As inconceivable as that sounds, that is the actuality of it. We all want greatness! In politics. In our own life. And in Thanksgiving abundance too! I do believe we can unite and at least agree we share the stagecoach journey of life.
I feel the most toxic subsidy occurring is that during the most gracious season, we are losing time for what already is. Precious life is being whittled away. Moments are gone that cannot be recovered. And we are teaching our younger generation how to not live in gratitude and learn to be cordial and amiable during the most munificent and glorious time of year, when they should be experiencing the joy of gratitude through the lessons we teach them as role models to them.
In life, it’s not always what happens to us, it is how we handle what happens. I wish everyone a truly magnificent Thanksgiving. I hope for peace and harmony and the great divide to become an invisible line that vanishes into a peace treaty of harmony as we move forward together as a country, as families, and as individuals. I invite you to appreciate the beauty, bounty and tremendous blessings bestowed upon us…this season and throughout the coming year… and I always wish each of you this with the utmost of flair, finesse, and FUNctionality.