The Norman Transcript


November 20, 2012

Let’s give Thanksgiving a lick or two



Am I really thankful because it’s good to be me? It’s no wonder so many people love Thanksgiving so much. Talk about your self-absorbed, self-indulgent celebrations. Christmas can’t hold a candle to this.

Don’t get me wrong. I have been blessed with all of this and more, and I am thankful for those blessings. But I also remember that a Jewish rabbi said, “Take care. Protect yourself against the least bit of greed. Life is not defined by what you have, even when you have a lot.” Did Jesus get it wrong?

According to an article by Bonnie Kavoussi in the Nov. 15 Huffington Post, “Households that make at least $100,000 per year give an average 4.2 percent of their discretionary income to charity, (and) those that make between $50,000 to $75,000 per year give an average 7.6 percent of their discretionary income to charity.”

If having things or being blessed is cause for thanksgiving, then wouldn’t having more things and being more blessed cause even greater thanksgiving? Apparently not.

I know the standard answer: ”It’s not what we possess, it’s what possesses us.”

Honestly, if the wisdom we live by can found in a greeting card, it is probably as priceless as the card itself. It’s time to rethink Thanksgiving and thanksgiving. Oh, I’m as thankful as the next person. Really. But some of my blessings are curses. I worry about losing them. I want more of them.

It seems to me that thanksgiving should be something more grand than this. It should rise above things that are elusive and temporary. I’m thankful that I’m part of something that transcends me, something that can exist without me. Maybe that’s why nature inspires me and why genius — intellectual or artistic — lifts me from everything that is otherwise dismal.

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