Thanksgiving is an awkward holiday for many of us, for we find it hard to celebrate a day that has been so mystified and mythologized in the interest of colonization. And yet the idea of a shared feast between cultures which recognizes the larger connections between us is something that we can surely use. For this reason, the day remains important to me, and equally important to me that it be spent in a community celebration rather than a private family gathering. How is it that we have taken so many communal rituals and privatized them to make them intimate gatherings within our communities rather than between communities and groups. Though we know that for many of us, biological family or even legal family is oppressive and even abusive, many of us chose to be with those who do not annoy or challenge us. A communal meal is less elegant, less private and there’s more chance you’ll have to interact with someone who pushes your buttons. And yet at the same time, if there is any good in the Thanksgiving myth, I find it in a communal Thanksgiving.
While I was shopping today for the community meal, I did so in the dark as the local area had lost power. Isn’t that a great metaphor for the ways that we have lost the message of our interdependence, the ways we need one another and the spirit of generosity which can make us feel at one even with those who are different from ourselves.
No matter what your plans this holiday season, consider doing something that honors the larger spirit of our interdependence and that recognizes that there is enough abundance in the world for all of us. Maybe instead of or in addition to shopping Friday, you can make a few charitable gifts, perhaps to honor other migrants who, like the Pilgrims of old, needed assistance to survive (see below for some ideas). Maybe you can simply take a walk on the street and have a conversation with someone to whom you wouldn’t normally talk. Any action we can take that speaks of abundance, that says there is enough for all, will help counter the hyper-capitalist, comfort-at-any-cost lifestyle promoted in this nation today.
If nothing else, may this be a year when we wrestle anew with the questions of who is in our community and what constitutes true abundance. And whatever you plan to do, may you find in your experience that sense of true abundance which recognizes that we are all interconnected.
And if you want to give to help the migrants who are seeking asylum in our nation, please consider donations to one of these organizations:
- Contribute to the GaryMar Centro, the binational charitable organization working to live out the Unitarian Universalist covenant to work for a world community https://tinyurl.com/y8v9elog
- Contribute to Al Otro Lado, the organization providing legal support to the migrants on the Tijuana side. https://tinyurl.com/y8af53a8
- Contribute to the San Diego Rapid Response Network which is fielding the migrants who are released into the community https://www.gofundme.com/migrantreliefsd