Thankful for Hope

Here in the States, we have reached the time for Thanksgiving. Traditionally, it is a time for being thankful for what we have in our lives, until the following day when we all head out to the retail stores to beat the crap out of each other for cheap(er) prices on various items that we did not really need in the first place. Or at least that’s the theory.

Thanksgiving is also a time that lends itself to levels of gluttony where food consumption is concerned. For me, no thanks. I am fat enough already. I could be mistaken for the traditional Thanksgiving Turkey at my current weight.

This is also the time frame where families get together, to remember that we are all related to one another, and that we should be nice to each other. That is, until the inevitable talk of politics kicks in, and the dining room table breaks into a war zone where Trump supporters form to one side, the lone Hillary supporter to the other, and the Sanders’ supporters block the way to the kitchen. By the time the stuffing has slid down the wallpaper, someone is packing to leave early. And thus, the traditional family fight begins the holiday season.

In all those aspects, I guess I am lucky. The physical, geographic distance between myself and my DNA relations is great enough that I am just considered the “odd family member that lives too far away.” My extended family tend to live on other continents from me, so that travel is generally out. So it is really just a stay-cation for the holidays. Sure, there is a copious amount of food that still gets made, but it is not for a single meal. The design is to be enough to last through the entire weekend. So there is no need to gorge. And Black Friday shopping is typically limited to a handful of stores (if at all), along with a trip to the barber for my twice yearly haircut. So, Thanksgiving is a typically quiet affair for me.

But there are things to be thankful for. I still have my health – as it seems to be for the moment. I still have a paying job – as it seems to be for the moment. And while I hold them at arm’s length, I do still have DNA family. I have the right to follow the religious beliefs of my own – for the time being. And I have the company of Crow, Coyote, and Fliadhas. I am thankful to be able to be who I am, what I am, and continue to become what I am meant to be. And for me, that is more than enough in life. I do not need to drive my enemies before me, nor do I need to hear the lamentations of their women. That works for Conan the Barbarian, but not for me.

This election cycle has certainly drawn some long, deep, and difficult divides between folks. It has emboldened some to showcase their hatred and disdain for others. It has driven many to places of hiding, seeking shelter, and being wary of so many around them. The election of Donnie and Mikey has struck the tower bell and started sounding the alarm that things are changing. The coming times have the hallmark of being truly perilous times. Times that will test many of us in ways that we never thought possible; ways that we thought were better thought of in a generation or two in the past.

I can understand the trepidation. I can understand the fear. I can understand the inability to see or focus beyond what seems to be bad. But deep down, deep within, there is always a reason to be thankful. Even if the thanks are for some of the smallest things. As Jyn Erso has been heard to utter on the commercials for Star Wars: Rogue One — “Rebellions are built on hope.” And in my own estimation, one of the best ways to stick it to the incoming administration is to just continue to be yourself. Do not let any of this change who you are. Be you. That is my two pence into the pot. If you happen to be the lucky winner, do not spend it all in one place.


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