Honestly, I don’t know why we don’t call this holiday – Thanks Chicken? After all, it’s all about the foul. How big, how many pounds, how many can it feed?!
We don’t want to just eat a meal and not know what we are celebrating! We all love meaning! I guess it was like this: When the pilgrims first came over, they were greeted on the shores, by a bunch of triumphant turkeys. Who, upon seeing the newcomers, began running about, gaggling and gobbling, “like chickens without heads”, embellishing and glorifying the air of excitement. This expression of energetic and heartfelt warmth and enthusiasm must have added tremendously to the enjoyment and elation of reaching safe shores. And – this is how we thank them? Makes you think twice about being on a welcoming committee!!!!
Often, jokingly -we sum up Jewish holidays as – “We fought, we won, let’s eat!” But what’s this?!!! “They were happy to see us. They didn’t give us a hard time. Let’s eat THEM ?!” What kind of thank you is that?!
Maybe that’s why we refine the name and call it Thanks Giving. We want to get away from that image. We are really highlighting the importance of thanking our maker for bringing us, or more correctly, our ancestors, safely to friendly shores.
Forgetting the food fare -The name is delicious! Who can criticize a holiday that’s about- gratitude! It sends the right message. We need to have Hakarat Hatov – a remembrance- of the good done for us.
Every day, we experience things that aggravate us. That fact seems inevitable. The world has a lot of funky stuff going on. Understanding it all seems way beyond our pay grade. However – there are a lot of amazing blessings constantly surrounding us, as well. It’s never a bad idea to hyper-focus on that!
So, let’s take another look at the poor little members of our greeting committee and see if we can get another vantage point on this. Their lives are not necessarily that deep and meaningful. They are loud, and destructive, or passive at best. They are not so gorgeous, in fact they are born already needing a face lift and a chin tuck.
Then we suddenly deify them. They are celebrated as the quintessential symbol of gratitude. No Thanksgiving celebration is complete without them. Have we done something so bad for them after all?! We have given their very existences higher meaning. And aren’t we all looking for meaning?!
So, whether you gobble down your turkey this Thanksgiving, or just partake in the sides, or from the sidelines, remember this- Life is always better when we find meaning in it and look for what there is to be thankful for!!!
Rivki Rosenwald is a certified relationship counselor, and career and life coach. She can be contacted at 917-705-2004 or firstname.lastname@example.org