Friday, November 28, 2008

Giving thanks is tricky

And here's why. Allegedly Thanksgiving is the one day each year when you're supposed to give thanks. But of course this only applies to U.S. residents. Because Plymouth Rock and harvest bounty and Native Americans.

To further complicate matters, we're also told that if you squint your eyes a little and hold your head the right way, you see the bigger point is that you should always be thankful for stuff. Like, every day.

Woodstock is a bird. Turkeys are birds. Be thankful that you didn't
think too hard about this situation as a kid.

So what is a thankful person to do? Despite decades of experience at being a human being and an actual degree in philosophy, I'm not sure I have any concrete answers.

But guidelines? Yeah. I can do guidelines.

1) Taking anything for granted is an extraordinarily bad idea. I guess that's pretty close to the idea of being thankful every day, but it's not exactly the same thing. Because...

2) Getting hung up in always being thankful means you actually miss out on a fair amount of what you're being thankful for.

3) The stuff you're not thankful for? All life's kicks in the shins and poison apples? Don't waste your time trying to tell yourself it all happens for a reason. But do remember that we're the sum of our experiences: Even the stuff that makes us miserable also makes us who we are. Besides, would you appreciate summer without winter? No. (trust me on this--I have lived in Florida)

Maybe I'm thinking about all this too hard. It's a weakness of mine. Or maybe my weekend, which, remember, just ended Monday, was just that edifying.

But at any rate, yes. As it turns out, being thankful ain't easy... but it's necessary. Happy Thanksgiving.

1 comment:

KO said...

You don't need no stinkin' sub-zero, ice-and-snow winter to appreciate the summer!