Let’s savor lasting memories of a Thanksgiving Day

November 20, 2021
By Delores Savas


“I do not think of all the misery, but of the glory that remains. Go outside into the fields, nature and sun, go out and seek happiness in yourself and in God. Think of all the beauty that again and again discharges itself within and without, and be happy and thankful.”         

– Anne Frank, author and victim of the Holocaust                                

Well, it has happened again. Thanksgiving Day is being stolen from right under our eyes. Last year and the year before, the Grinch and his helpers were out the day after Halloween, emptying shelves and rushing to put out Christmas items for sale. Thanksgiving just disappeared.

     Thanksgiving Day items were few and far between on the shelves as Christmas items soon appeared. Gone are the days of  ample cards and items for the day of Thanksgiving, as merchants rush to cash in on the supposed “Holiday Spirit” renamed “Black Friday” that is all about buy, buy, buy. 

    However, let us back up a little and contemplate how fortunate we all are to be living in the United States compared to other countries of the world. Consider the following:                                                                                    

*  There are about 690 million people globally who are undernourished, and about 811 million people worldwide go to bed hungry each night.

*  Farmers, herders and fishermen produce about 70 percent of the global food supply, yet poverty and hunger are most acute among rural populations.                                                                                

*  Conflict is a cause or consequence of hunger. In 2020 conflict was the primary driver of hunger for 99.1 million people in 23 countries.                                                                                                    

 *  An estimated 14 million children under the age of five worldwide suffer from acute malnutrition, also known as severe wasting, yet only 25 percent of acutely malnourished children have access to lifesaving treatment.

    Residents of our island now complain that many items are not in stock at local stores, and prices have risen, though there is still enough food to survive. Elsewhere there are many food pantries to help the hungry. Other countries have no such luxury.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                          

  Recently many local residents were asked to conserve water for a few months. Many complained, not realizing how fortunate they were to be able turn on their faucets and have clean water flow out.

    The latest published information on access to clean water shows that 2.1 billion people worldwide lack sufficient drinking water, and 844 million do not have even basic drinking water service according to UNICEF.

    With Thanksgiving approaching, we should all contemplate and give thanks for our many blessings in this country. The Earth provides us with all our needs in food, water and air. We should all be thankful for and protect these blessings. Keep on the alert for companies that seek to change laws and choose power and profit over the safety of the public.

    You can help the unfortunate this Thanksgiving by acknowledging the growing numbers of homeless people who sit with empty eyes looking for a handout. If possible, donate some of your time volunteering at food pantries and bringing unused clothes to resale shops to help the unfortunate. Unlike other countries, no one should go hungry in America.

    If you are able, donate to food banks and funds that will help feed the hungry.

    While we may be clapping our hands now at the news that foreigners can again enter the United States, especially from Canada, this is good for the economy but bad for all the unfortunate transients who will be coming here because of the warm weather with no money and nowhere to sleep. All will need help.

    Yes, help in any way possible, and try to remember what Thanksgiving is all about. Don’t let the lure of Black Friday ween you away from your family’s tradition, even if it’s just sitting around the table with kith and kin to celebrate the day. Leaving the table and rushing to buy does not leave many warm family memories. And these are the times that will be remembered through the years. It is your choice to make. What will be remembered, especially by the children?

   A precocious nephew who recently celebrated his sixth birthday at a large family party told his mother later that the best part of having his birthday party was because there were so many family members there. Children need these memories to survive in this chaotic world. And the Thanksgiving celebration with family and friends is a good place to start.

    Don’t let the Grinch steal your family’s Thanksgiving Day. Celebrate, say thank you, and be grateful for living in the United States.

   One wise man wrote, “It’s not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them. That is the true measure of our Thanksgiving.” (W.T. Purkiser)

Happy Thanksgiving.