It’s Canada’s Thanksgiving Day. Families come together. Like Christmas the holiday has come to be more secular than spiritual. Original intent - almost vanished.
Being on flight from Canada to the USA to Amsterdam and finally to Mumbai (India) gives little time for celebration. Thanks can be expressed any day and any time. The attitude of gratitude lightens the spirit. It leaves a damn good feeling. Entitlement has the opposite effect. Growing up Christian it was the thing to do. You say “grace.” You acknowledge.
When the meals come around on Delta Airlines I see few people carry the mood of thanks. Of course, you can never know what’s going on in a person’s mind, but the general spirit is, “let’s eat!” The original seed-giver to the food is taken for granted. Nothing comes automatically. It’s also with hard labour and incredible use of machinery that makes possible the substance for the stomach. I hope sensitivity in this area will increase.
My parents tell of the Great Depression and great war (II) that they endured. They saw people being killed. Nazis would come into your home at night and help themselves to anything. The boys and men would have to be hidden away so as not to be forcibly taken away. In my father’s home an extremely narrow hallway behind a facade wall was the place of retiring for the night when the Nazis would come. I also read a newspaper article where my father and uncle hid in a hay stack when they were being searched for. We also heard of the hunger in that pressing time. In the Netherlands, where my family is from, some people resorted to eating tulip bulbs (at least it’s vegetarian). People were fearful of others and tightly bonded to others. The war polarized. Ironically the war can bring out the worst and the best in you, but you valued what commodities were there. Relationships and interdependence took on a powerful meaning. For a lot of people God and religion meant everything. It was natural to be grateful.
What are we missing today?
May the Source be with you!