Thursday, November 17, 2005

Giving Thanks

Seems we'd be a better nation with a big dose of humility this time of year, and yes, you know me - 365 days a year.

It's just a week 'til Thanksgiving, a holiday based, as are most other American holidays, on EXCESS.

Americans just aren't really raised much to lean toward humility. That's why our older relatives who talked about humble things and humbler times seemed so quaint even years ago. That's why the Dalai Lama and monks stand out. Americans do seem to be drawn to audacious music stars and sports stars. But we've got just enough of our puritan roots and common decency left to want our American brand of audacity to not run rough shod over ever segment of the evening news.

That's why the more audacious of our political and cultural leaders - especially if they are white - try to keep the shriller threads of their audacity under wraps, a la Mssrs. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Bush.

Their humility is not only an act, it is a lie. And unfortunately, we don't have a heroic Churchill or Lincoln or Gandhi when we need one. Their voices would (and do) get lost in the madding crowd, talk-radio blather that passes for culture most days of the year.

But what about now? What about the week approaching Thanksgiving? And the intentionally humble aspects of the Jesus story? The silent night sort of undercurrent now deeply buried beneath rockin' around our updside down Christmas trees and getting schnockered on nog.

Seems with more humility, we would give a lot more thanks and thanks of a higher quality. Glad to have good water. Finding joy in a sweater, in a nice check-out person, in hearing our car start smoothly, in listening to some soothing music.

It's not just quantity of thanks of course - that would lead us back to the problem here, like stuffing ourselves silly: EXCESS. Not even thanks should be excessive, thus feigned and acted and even fake. No, thanks itself needs quality, just the right dance of true love and appreciation for having made it this far alive, having made it to today and tomorrow and this week with even a sliver of hope, a slice of joy, a piece of possibility and some Peace, capital P, peace somewhere, sometimes, for each of us, no matter where we are.


At 11/25/2005 4:47 AM, Anonymous rq said...

Peace on Earth and all that good homespun love to you , too! Hope the Ghandi attitude worked for you w/the family. We all forget how lucky we are to be alive. Love you!

At 11/28/2005 12:25 PM, Blogger Lawrence said...

It's now safe to say IT DID work, the Ghandi attitude. In fact, see the comments I composed and read alound on Thanksgiving.

Thanks for reading me here at ABN!



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