Similar to Christmas and the Santa Myth, Thanksgiving–given the accompanying emphasis on family and capitalism–Privileges those who fit the “happy and successful and normal” paradigm.
I was not planning to post anything today, but the “thinker” creature in my head had other plans. (See Inside Out.)
In ways, our culture is very ego centric to have a day of thanksgiving without also having a day of mourning or reflection or something…
Of course, everyone has many things to be thankful for, from the perspective of privilege and opportunity or if we don’t reflect. Saying everyone has something to be thankful for ignores those suffering from depression or who have suicidal thoughts.
What about those who have family who neglected them? or those who live far away from family and friends?
What about those who have to work in a restaurant or grocery store or big-box store today? What about those who cannot afford a nice, hot meal at home? (A ham is $70 at HoneyBaked Ham, for example.)
Being thankful for a job is very different than having enough money to pay for insurance (which with car, house, and health insurance added together is by far where most income goes), food, and other everyday necessities.
In other words, what about those who have not been given anything to be thankful for, who have only be given struggles? What about those who sacrifice and suffer so that we can be thankful? And we can’t forget those who suffer as slaves today.
When we insist that everyone is and should be thankful for something we remain blind to the actual hopes and fears of individuals and major problems in the world.
And when we’re thankful for what we have, we have to be careful when/if we say we are “blessed” or “lucky” – as these too limit perspective and perpetuate Privilege Systems.
Thanks for reading what is apparently my Third Annual Thanksgiving address. See my first annual here and second here.