By Gloria Dulan-Wilson
Every year some one of our politically savvy Black activist leaders will come up with question of whether or not we should be celebrating Thanksgiving. And this year is no different. That weird question reared its ugly head in the guise of a joke, and there was the nervous laughter to open guffaws around the room, which set me thinking:
"Hmmmm...don't we - individually and collectively - have something to be thankful for in our lives? Are we now so cynical that even when things go right we keep looking for something bad to happen. Can we be grateful for another day of life (remember the song, "I just want to celebrate another day of living"?) Wonder what would happen if we all assumed an attitude of gratitude, as opposed to the overwhelmingly ascerbic, snarky tones we've been imparting as of late?"
Metaphysically speaking - according to the LAWS OF ATTRACTION & ASSUMPTION - you get back what you send out. If you send out gratitude, you generally attract more blessings and more things to be grateful for. If you continuously send out complaints, suspicion and negativity, that's what you'll keep getting. Even as little kids we were taught to say "grace" before eating - a form of being thankful for having food to eat. I.e. a form of gratitude for being provided for.
I think we are the only country that actually sets aside an entire day to show our gratitude. Interestingly enough it was started by Pilgrims who were so grateful for being out from under the thumb of oppressive British rule, for having survived the rigors of a perilous passage to what was then the New World; and for having been befriended by the original Americans (a/k/a Indians - "natives" in caucasian parlance), who showed them how to survive here. The first Thanksgiving celebrations actually included all the people. They all sat down and all shared in the bounty.
Now, today, we got let's get the meal done so we can go shop for Black Friday Bargains. We got family feuds; who hates whom, who's doing what to whom; who cooks better than whom, or who can't cook at all. It can run the gamut soup to a 25 lb. Turkey, depending on your budget.
I say it's time we put the THANKS back into Thanksgiving, and show our gratitude for loving, being loved; the fact that we are not only blessed to be here another day, but have another day to be blessed and do things differently. Smile folks, we re-elected the Best President Since Roosevelt! Smile, we don't have to deal with "Mitt-Twit Romney". Smile - Good things are coming your way now. You're twice blessed if you have your family and friends around you. Triple the blessings if they are also loved ones who love you in return.
Smile if you have grandchildren who love and respect you and are well behaved. Be grateful if you still have all your teeth and can enjoy the good food prepared for this special day. Let's send up a prayer for those who suffered Hurricane Sandy, as well as gratitude for the help they are receiving so they can rebuild their homes and their lives. And, yes, you can likewise be grateful if you were spared the tragedy.
If there's something that you don't have, that you want, be grateful that it's on its way; if there's something that you don't want that you have, release it in peace and send it on its way.
We have to learn to celebrate every good thing that happens to us, every accomplishment, every victory not just on Thanksgiving Day, but each time it occurs. That's one thing I learned from my Japanese friends that I try to practice regularly - celebrate now, so the good can keep coming.
So in answer to my comedic friend, "Yes! We owe it to ourselves to celebrate Thanksgiving. No matter who we are or where we are - especially we Black people, though - we can look back and see how far we've come, and look forward and see how close we are, and give thanks in advance for smooth roads and bountiful blessings in our lives from this moment on (as long as we do what we are supposed to do, individually and collectively. The only way we can go from this point on is up.
So have a happy, joyous, wonderful, prosperous, blessed fun filled and loving Thanksgiving - and don't over spend on Black Friday - even though they're calling it Black, make sure you spread some of that Green with the Black merchants and business owners so they'll have something to be thankful for too.
Stay Blessed &