11.24.2011

Turkey Talk


Of my many pet peeves, this one is relevant for today: people wishing you a "Happy Turkey Day!" I'm not sure why, but I have less of a problem with the commercialization of Christmas or the bunnification of Easter than with the turkefication of Thanksgiving. Part of it is that pounding the turkey and then either watching grown men in colorful uniforms beat each others' brains up on TV (i.e. football) or gearing up for crazed bargain-hunting (i.e. Black Friday) seems so stereotypically American in the worst sense that I am hoping against hope for different traditions that don't indicate a fat and happy empire on the decline.

Part of it is that by substituting in the word "turkey" we are substituting out the word "thanksgiving." And, in our cynical and spoiled times, I think it's all the more important to get back to a posture of thankfulness. I'm not even going as deep as being thankful to God, although obviously I believe that is important. I'm just talking about being thankful and expressing thanksgiving. If we would only take the time to consider the totality of our lives, we would be astounded at how good we have it.

For all our complaints about the economy, about injustice, and about the big and small problems in our lives, there is likely far more to say in the positive. We owe it to thank many people for their generosity and kindness. We are living in a time of unprecedented wealth, comfort, and medical and technological advancement. And, those of us who believe in God believe in a good and powerful and omniscient source of all of this goodness, and that in itself is reason for giving thanks.

So, yeah, enjoy the turkey today. But give thanks for it, and for everything else, good and bad, that your life consists of. We'll soon reach our fill of turkey and football and shopping. But we won't soon run out of things to be thankful for.

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