The Norman Transcript

November 21, 2013

What are you thankful for?


The Norman Transcript

NORMAN — In our increasingly egocentric society, a number of people expect and demand things they may not deserve and have not earned. Since complaints fall trippingly off their tongues and gratitude is in short supply, why do they celebrate Thanksgiving?

Thanksgiving used to commemorate the Pilgrims and American Indians enjoying a three-day feast celebrating the first harvest. To keep that spirit alive, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed Thanksgiving Day a national holiday stating that this day is for “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.”

In light of the societal attitude shift, what are the telltale signs heralding the approach of Thanksgiving Day?

Is it the mountains of turkeys with serious chest enhancement which appear in the grocery stores? Or, perhaps the ubiquitous displays of marshmallows, canned sweet potatoes and canned pumpkins? We must not forget the canned cranberries which retain the shape and ridges of the can even after removal from said can. Do they retain their shape as they travel through our bodies? Just a thought.

What is the significance of Thanksgiving Day for the economy?

The airline industry is salivating with visions of extra luggage fees dancing in their heads. Along with hopes of selling cardboard meals of greasy, unhealthy stuff guaranteed to hasten the clogging of your arteries.

Service stations as well as rest stops, such as Buc-ees, Stuckey’s and other “more than just a gas station” establishments benefit as well, offering gas, drinks, munchies and souvenirs.

What is the significance of Thanksgiving Day for the average person today?

For many people, the once revered holiday’s major allure is having a day or two off from work. Then there is the willingness of people to travel long distances for a meal reminiscent of a Roman orgy (also known as a gorgy), which may include fingers down the throat to make room for more food.

For those with wanderlust, Thanksgiving offers an excuse to travel hundreds of miles to visit with friends and family. And for the overly-organized folk, Thanksgiving is the drop-dead deadline for having Christmas trees and decorations up.

Since the Internet is a continuous loop of information, jokes and other avenues for wasting time, certain things catch the public’s imagination. One such pastime is a daily post of what a person is thankful for. Some posts are heartfelt and some have seen better days, nevertheless, it would be interesting to take a moment and consider what our own posts might include.

For example, I’m thankful that not everyone is selfish and steps outside their comfort zone to help, comfort and/or serve meals to those less fortunate.

Perhaps you are thankful every time an inattentive drive misses your car. Although it would not be surprising if those all too frequent near-misses, subtract a few years off the potential victim’s life and makes the gray hairs multiply.

Are you thankful for mastering the art of bi-location and the retractable arms that miraculously helped you through the child-rearing years? Ask any parent who survived all the activities of their children and you will likely hear, “I don’t know how I did it all, but somehow I managed.”

There is something to be said for appreciating quirky relatives. If they were not related to you, who would you complain about? Perhaps that is one reason we do not have a say in choosing relatives. If we only chose smart, interesting and compliant relatives, life would be so boring.

If you are a hunter, you may be thankful for that 10-point buck. A fisherman may thankful when the size of his catch turns out to be larger than his arms can spread.

I am thankful for everyone blessed with a warped sense of humor because laughter makes life worth living and it is good for the heart and the soul.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer and author. Her novels “The Dionysus Connection” and “The Marathon Man” are available on amazon.com. Visit her website: www.elizabethcowan.com.

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