Every year, we’re reminded to cultivate gratitude for our lives in this country where we hold greater rights than most people have throughout history. It doesn’t mean we’re perfect. It doesn’t mean we’re more virtuous, to a person or as a nation, only that we have been and continue to be blessed to live here.
We are. We are. We are. We are. That’s what we give thanks for, for being part of this great experiment, with all of its wrong turns and errors. We give thanks just the same for the privilege we hold, to be free, to vote, to have a system designed in theory though often not enforced or revealed through our actions, to promote each of us to fulfil our lives without fear of repression by the government.
Today, we have family because today we remember we are a family; with crazy uncles and cousins we don’t always see eye to eye with, with people we should know better, and people we sometimes feel we know too well. Today, we remember what holds us together, even as we work to remove, amend or heal what sets us at odds. The giving of thanks in our hearts marked by a feast doesn’t mean we don’t have plenty of problems; problems which require solving, problems which seem intractable, problems which seem like they shouldn’t exist anymore, and yet do. The thanksgiving is to remind us of where we’ve been and where we’re trying to go.