Image credit: Kai Stachowiak
A week ago today we celebrated Thanksgiving and when asked what we were thankful for, the top three answers were family, friends, and food.
My thoughts for today, post-Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday, makes one ask again and wonder what you are truly grateful for. Is it still the same as it was a week ago? I thought about this as I looked through my slew of emails in my inbox at the EXTENDED Black Friday/Cyber Monday offers.
I can’t help but think about the people affected by this year’s devasting hurricanes, floods, tornados, earthquakes, and wildfires who lost everything, some including their lives. I can’t help but think about the people who were brutally murdered by the hands of domestic violence, the school and nightclub shootings, the shootings in synagogues and other institutions of worship. Lives changed forever. Where does the level of the survivor’s gratitude stand today?
I think about the missing people who were found brutally murdered or individuals caught in the crossfire of injustice and hatred. I think about friends and relatives who passed away and people I knew who were tragically killed in a vehicle accident due to a driver who was driving impaired, or with a suspended/revoked driver’s license. Can survivors still find a glimmer of hope in gratitude?
I think about all of those innocent, immigrant children who were separated from their parents with the greatest of insensitivity, some who will probably never be reunited with their families ever again. I think about those parents who seek safe refuge for their families, who are demonized for trying to fulfill that responsibility of protecting and serving. Can they still remain hopeful and grateful?
As I watched the crowds who swarmed the aisles of stores during marathon hours of operation over the past week, seeking ‘slasher’ deals for items that may be obsolete this time next year, I am reminded of the humble gratitude of people who appreciate food donations or lonely seniors who have no family who checks on them frequently or anyone who will take the time to talk.
So, in retrospect, I do not frown on those super fantastic deals that everyone is either rushing to brick-n-mortar or online stores to take advantage of. Nah. I simply say, let’s not forget how much we truly have to be grateful for each day, as we show compassion for the least of these, far passed the day we call and celebrate Thanksgiving.