I give up.
I’ve been staring at a blank screen, hoping to point out the things that a bitterly divided nation can agree to be thankful for on Thanksgiving Day. Sure we are torn. Sure each side is weary after a bitter election that follows four years of hand to hand combat. But can’t we unify around the blessings we share? Even as each half of the country glares with anger at the other half, can we not find some common ground on which to agree to give thanks?
You try. Start with the basics.
- How about that Thanksgiving is a tradition worth celebrating? Ha!
- How about that we should thank God for our blessings? Please.
- How about being grateful for our bedrock beliefs like life, freedom, and liberty? Really?
- What about that our founding fathers built a new nation on an inspired foundation that the world had never seen. C’mon!
- Then what about praying for those things that all parents want: good educational opportunities for their kids, safe neighborhoods, economic opportunity, and strong families? Fuggetaboudit.
Cursing my writer’s block and desperate for a glimmer of hope, I switch gears. I start to consider that regardless of our deep divisions, at least we live in a country where we are allowed to be divided. Is that in itself worthy of our collective gratitude? So I may say, for example, that strong families are critically important and that dads are as indispensable as ever. Others may say I’m a racist, a bigot, a sexist, and a hater for doing so. Who cares? I won’t be put into a reeducation camp and be forced to change my views to the “right thinking“ and become a “new person,” like the Chinese communists did. At least for now, right?
So my Thanksgiving reflections will be my own, perhaps shared by some, certainly not by all, and maybe not by many. I will be thankful that I am free to believe what I want to believe. I will thank God for His countless blessings. I will be enormously thankful for my wife and children and for our country and our Constitution. I will pray that many elected officials, corporate leaders, and educational, religious, and political institutions – who have been corrupted by greed, lawlessness and deceit – will regain their courage and principles. I will thank my parents for their love, sacrifice and wisdom. I will be grateful for my siblings, some wonderful friends, and a number of great leaders that have risen up over the years to make our world and our country better. I will give thanks for our military, our police, and their families. And I will pray that fatherhood some day recaptures the dignity and respect it once had.
I will recognize that half the country might mock my reflections, and I won’t give even the smallest rat’s ass if they do.