Wednesday, November 27, 2013


I'm reminded of tyrants everywhere, throughout history, who sacrificed the lives of their neighbors and their own people for the sake of absolute power. About the Syrians starving their own people and their children for absolute power. To name only sadly a few: Mao, Stalin, Mussolini, Franco, Pol-Pot, Videla, and one of the worst in all of history Hitler and I think of all of the religious wars and crusades and I feel a sense of sorrow at the cruelty that mankind not only demonstrates but allows. 

And I also feel a sense of hope because in the face of atrocities and hatred, and extremists that demanded absolute obedience, there have also been those who dared to dream we were capable of being so much more than that. Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr, Jesus, Buddha, Confucius, Lao Tsu, Mandala, and so many others who wrote books and poetry and songs and who commemorated these unknown soldiers and heroes who stood before those tyrants to stop the insanity. There have been so many who have shown us that we can rise above hatred and ignorance and we can find a common ground with each other and decide we could be gracious and respectful and honorable and then they took that first step and they showed us how. And I admire that. 

 All that being said, I'd like it if we could all have a day that we get together and share news and stories and food and just be thankful. I really like that part of it. My ex-husband was Potawatomi and so I understand there is a difference in perspective about Thanksgiving between people who were here before the invasion and people who have never known any differently than, well, "This land is your land, this land is my land, from California to the New York Island...". I came from a Jewish background.  One of forced wandering.  Both of us were studying genocide. I realized that this Thanksgiving holiday would be like the Germans declaring a wonderful day of friendship with the Jews the day before they decided to steal their property and send them off to the gas chambers and then tried to kill all of the witnesses. 

The interesting part in our studies was that we found this has happened on every continent. Those who were perpetrators of genocide had also in their histories been victims of the same. For the reason there was a sense of connection on what was really important. Living now and appreciating that. Remembering the past and appreciating that too. And hoping for future generations: That maybe we would all learn how to cherish all of life and the moments we find ourselves wandering together on this great Mother Earth, together.

I'm grateful that we are capable of more. I am thankful we are willing to take that chance to be more of a humane person. Destroying nations, people, nature... it's easy. It just takes a fist and someone who has a bigger club than anyone else. But taking care of each other and the planet and educating each other and setting a good example, that is a lot harder. There isn't a one step process to being a good person. Being and becoming a good person takes a millions small steps. Ones that no-one else may every see, ones that may never be acknowledged. But ones that will give us strength and wisdom in a time of need. And that is something that brings out the best in us. And I love that. I truly love that.

Happy Thanksgiving. 

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