Welcoming a Chance to Give Thanks

Traditional Thanksgiving Tabeleau
Traditional Thanksgiving Tabeleau

The traditional Thanksgiving  tableau depicts the pilgrims of the Plimouth Colony sharing a meal with Massasoit, the Wampanoag chief who saved them from starvation and showed them how to survive in New England.

The pilgrims of Plimouth Colony, together with the Massachusetts Bay Colony, slaughtered Massasoit’s  people and stuck his son’s head on a pike for 30 years. When I hear Ronald Reagan speak of the City on a Hill, it makes me sick to my stomach.

But never mind that. Let’s welcome the opportunity to give thanks. I think it’s a good thing to do at any time of the year.

Above all, I’m thankful for my fairy princess daughter, about whom I could go on and on.

And my job at GoNOMAD.com, ditto. All the great writers and photographers all over the world that I get to work with. You know who you are, Mridula, Sony, David, Kent, Paul, Kelly, Matthew, and on and on and on. Thank you.

For the chance to take a train trip across Canada and visit the Cherokee Nation? How could anyone not be thankful for that? When I joined GoNOMAD in 2005, I had difficulty talking on the telephone. I had been, as they say, worked on by experts. Some day I’ll tell you all about it, if you’re interested.

So I thank my cousin Max for this life-changing opportunity.

And I’m thankful for my friends all over the world, who add immeasurably to my life every day.

I would also like to give thanks for Doc Rivers, coach of the Boston Celtics, and Bill Belichek of the New England Patriots, for the pleasure of watching the best athletes in the world performing with a commitment to team play above super stardom. That’s what I call class.

Beating the so-called superstars of Miami in the opener would have been a great accomplishment for the Celtics, but to beat them twice in a row is a tribute to Doc and the team.

Now I’d just like to see the team-oriented Patriots beat the boastful ego-oriented Jets.

I also give thanks for Bernie Saunders and Rachel Maddow and Arianna Huffington and  Al Franken. I hope they will continue to uphold the voice of reason in a nation gone mad.

Finally, I have a message for America that comes from my heart:

America, you have been blessed more than any nation in the history of the world has ever been blessed and yet your greed and your fearfulness is puffed up beyond measure.

You refuse to share your blessings with the world, or even with your own children, because you are so caught up in the cycle of greed and fear in which you never have enough.

It is the “still small circle of pain” that T.S. Eliot spoke of in which you “tramp and tread your endless round of thought to justify your actions to yourselves, weaving a fiction that unravels as you weave, pacing forever in the Hell of make-believe which never is belief.”

Everything you ever wanted to be happy and fulfilled is right at hand, but you would rather wage war on the world to preserve your access to cheap stuff that destroys the world and brings you no fulfillment in the end, but only desperation.

“Lust of possession worketh desolation.” I didn’t make that up. I heard it in a hymn somewhere back at the Groton School. Sometimes I feel like putting it on a sandwich board and marching around the local shopping malls.

Somebody somewhere has got to explain to the American people that happiness has nothing to do with possessions. The fate of the world lies in the balance. I know that sounds dramatic, but it happens to be true.