Thanksgiving, Introspect & Taking Responsibility In A Turbulent World


On this traditional day of gratitude, many Americans are feeling the fragile state of peace in an unstable world. We may pass the gravy, say “Thank you” and discuss turmoil in Paris, Middle East bombings, kidnapped Nigerian girls and other frightening realities. Wherever we are this glorious late autumn day, together or apart, perhaps it’s germane to look inward at our own history.

Yes, there is incredible love, beauty passion, art, faith, redemption, hope, light, connection, serenity, purpose and bountiful goodness in our world. Yes, Americans and most peoples have successful relationships with each other, communities and countries. Still, recovery and redemption as a species depends on deeper honesty within. None of our hands are totally clean, between ourselves, culturally or historically as a nation.

bustAmericans generally trace our Thanksgiving holiday to a 1621 Plymouth Plantation ceremony. Settlers shared a harvest feast after a bountiful growing season. Autumn or early winter celebrations continued intermittently for years, initially as spontaneous religious observances, later becoming a civil tradition.

Thanksgiving day thrives as a distinctive American holiday, partitioning our Hallmark card gratitude day and indulging. Family and friends join for celebration, reunion, and perhaps emotional remembrance of roots. The Paris terror attacks can be a reminder to us all, to check our own history and take responsibility. Let healing begin within me, between my loved ones and neighbors.

paris-skylineIn Pilgrims’ passionate joy of surviving harsh New England winters, our forefathers effectually looked past the role Europeans were playing. North American colonists seemed destined to unwittingly help complete the job Spaniards started in 1540.

It was not only Europeans destroying Native Americans. For centuries prior indigenous North Americans had been attacking each other. History is replete with intra and intercultural destruction. Some experts believe the first armed conflicts were fought more than 10,000 years ago by prehistoric city-states in present day Syria, Jordan and Iraq.

As the sun rises Thanksgiving morn over eastern mountains, let us remember peace begins in how we treat our colleagues, partners, loved ones and friends.

sunrise-over-vegas-mountainsYes, we can be grateful for lush harvest sustenance. May we be sated this year, sharing our table with three others; a similar person, someone different and another yet distinctive. Together let’s share the fruits of our land, labor and hearts.

tomatoes-lunds-st-paul-minnesotaAs the moon rises over Thanksgiving sunset, let us call from neighborhood to neighborhood, steeple to rooftop.


In grateful thanks, look inside myself for how I personally contribute to a peaceful world. Then we may actualize the joy, which most certainly is our birthright as humans and global citizens. Because in our frenetic, high tech world…

sfo-control-tower…it’s SO easy to be distracted from what’s important and stumble.

munich-s-bahn-sign Let’s rediscover our values, of truer connection and community…

community-garden-robert-st.-st-paul…and commit to take care of those less fortunate than ourselves. In truthful giving, we give honest thanks.

san-fransisco-street-manOn this Thanksgiving I ask, How is my heart more peaceful than yesterday? How do I honor others in my world with higher integrity, truth, empathy and giving? May I rise to a higher level to take care of those unable to heal by themselves.


Bless you all on this American day of Thanksgiving.

Peace be with you and loved ones, near and far.

Consider filling Elijah’s cup, offered at the front door, remembering that the struggle lives within our own hearts and behavior.

Bon Appétit.


Paris Image: Copyright: Luciano Mortula

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