Thanksgiving Morning 2008

It’s early Thanksgiving morning, and everyone else is asleep. I’ve washed the pots and pans from the dishes we prepped last night, and before the holiday madhouse begins, I thought I’d take a moment to express my public thanks – as opposed to the private ones I’ll be making at supper later today.

I am first and foremost thankful to the great nation that I’m a part of; humanity’s hopes given material shape. No one will kick in my door today, no matter what I write here, and I do not need to censor what I say or think because I fear what will happen if I do not. Rent Perseopolis sometime soon, and appreciate what we have achieved here.

I am thankful that we all see what we have achieved as a nation is imperfect and flawed, because that means that all of us follow the standards of being uncertain in our rightness and so willing to listen and learn. And because it gives all of us purpose in contributing however we can to making things better.

I am thankful for everyone who has struggled and suffered to give me and mine what we all enjoy today. From the earliest immigrants to the Founders to the poor soldiers of the Revolution and every soldier and worker and shopkeeper and engineer and lawyer – and yes, even every politician. We live on the shoulders of giants, and we all have a patrimony that we should be grateful for and thinking hard how we can improve.

I am thankful today for the women and men who endure hardship in my name; who wear the colors of my country and who have chosen to stand between my family and those who would harm them. Their mistakes are mine – because they are grounded in the political leaders I and others like me have chosen – and their honor is their own.

I am impossibly grateful for the explosion of ideas – good, bad, and insane – that have sprouted as all of us have been given the ability to speak out using tools like this blog. I have thought more, learned more, been more outraged, and seen my fellow humans better in the last six years of my life than in the other 49.

And I’m thankful for this place, where I’ve been able to think out loud, been challenged, corrected, changed my mind and stood firm and where I’ve forged my deepest friendships. I have learned so much here over the last few years, and that is the greatest gift of all to me – to refresh my ability to learn, to refresh my beginner’s mind.

Finally, and personally, I will thank my family – because they are my family and I’m so grateful to them for loving and accepting me – and because for all the crazy fits and starts, we have done three things very right – my son Eric who is far away, and his brothers Luc and Isaac who are asleep close at hand – who have grown into such wonderful young men and boys that I cannot find words enough to express how proud I am of them. So I’m thankful for Tenacious G, who married into this complex, crazy mess and to the boy’s two biological moms, who joined me in deciding that we were all parents first.

OK, enough of this – I’ve got stuffing to finish! Don’t forget to scroll down and donate to Project Valour-IT and give some wounded soldiers something to be thankful for today.

One thought on “Thanksgiving Morning 2008”

  1. AL

    Thanks for the thoughtful and sincere message.

    While I wish there were fewer extreme and lunatic views in our great country, you take the good with the bad.

    Having traveled globally and lived abroad for over 25 years, I can safely say that the US is the greatest country on the planet, for all its flaws, and is a beacon for mankind when it comes to the ideas of freedom and opportunity.

    We just need to strengthen the lost concept of personal responsibility, which I feel has been severely diminished by the “progressives.” I truly believe that personal responsibility is the third pillar of what has made the US great (freedom and opportunity being the other two) and so lament its loss.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

    Have a happy, healthy and prosperous 2009.

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