• Thanksgiving

    What is this holiday really about? Gathering family and friends together, once a year, to overindulge themselves on food and drink (as they do throughout the year), and engage in time-worn repetitive Cliché’s about ‘giving thanks’ on this one day for what they were unmindful of all year, for the most part. All this while competing for attention with the football game on TV, and religious reminders of what undeserving sinners we are. Let us not exclude the mass marketers and their ‘Black Friday’ sales, to provide further distraction from the meaning of the holiday, in their pursuit of profits.

    This should be the most meaningful holiday of the year. It is not a time to be on our knees in supplication for the frailties of human beings, but standing tall, on our feet, where the view is better, with confidence in our ability to survive the inequities of life and endure; to be thankful for everything that contributes to that survival, which is only a dream for the less fortunate and hopeless.

    My generation, that survived the Great Depression of the 1930’s and the Second World War of the 1940’s, and more, endured because we were too busy applying ourselves to solutions that our daily survival depended upon, not whining or complaining about the problems. Most everyone shared the same problems. Complainers, without solutions, were met with derision, and were an unwelcome distraction. If we complained, without offering a solution, we were quickly reminded of the deprivations, hardships, and suffering that was going on all over the world, and how fortunate we really were for what we had. If we needed a helping hand, it was at the end of our own arm.

    Growing up in those times, formed the foundation of my often repeated credo that you should ‘Do no harm’, and ‘help where you can.’

    It was in helping each other, and not making things worse, that we worked our way through problems and overcame the difficulties that were constantly challenging us. Many of our friendships, and trust, came from this common effort. Such friendships are the brightest jewels in the crown of Humanity, and warrant the daily appreciation and the thankfulness that we celebrate but once a year.

    It has been said that, “The hardest arithmetic to master is that which enables us to count our blessings.”

    I, for one, am thankful for the friends and loved ones in my life, on a daily basis. They are in my thoughts when I retire at night, and first thoughts when I awake. I never feel alone.

    I am most thankful for the life and health initially bestowed upon me by my universal parents,

    Mother Nature and Father Time. I’ve tried to make the most of the gifts from the one (not always successfully), before the other, inexorably, takes them away. In spite of all the ways to meet one’s demise in this world, I’ve managed to survive (with some collateral damage) and become an Octogenarian, and able to see my three beautiful children and grandchildren grow up to become my greatest source of love and unabashed pride.

    This is certainly something to be thankful for every day!

    Al Estrada
    Carmel, CA
    Thanksgiving, 2017

    posted to Cedar Street Times on November 19, 2017

    Topics: Columns & Contributors, Front PG News

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