This Thanksgiving was truly unique. Instead of the usual big family gathering, Hubs and I spent thankful moments with the family in bite-sized portions this year.
1st Thanksgiving came when a family member, who had been living with us due to an unforeseen situation left him without a home, announced he would be leaving for Oregon in less than a week for an opportunity he could not pass up. Hubs wanted to share Thanksgiving Dinner with him before he left giving us all the moment to share what we all learned and gained from our 6+ months together under one roof.
2nd Thanksgiving was spent with one son and his wife who have moved into their own sphere of influence and don’t automatically spend every “important” holiday with us any longer. They made time to spend with us exclusively which we enjoyed immensely.
Everything happens in threes, and although I did not plan to host another Thanksgiving dinner at our table, our only daughter said she’d be here. 3rd Thanksgiving, enjoyed on the actual National Day of Thanks-giving, was an interesting exercise in producing dishes that satisfied the Gluten Free and the Meat Free at the same time.
As we sat back and let the delicious meal settle, our daughter thanked me, adding that it was very inclusive of me to cook what I knew she would love to eat. I have been thinking about that statement since. I don’t know if I am trying to apply logic to the statement or purpose, either way, it has been bringing up lots of thoughts that I would like to share.
The Great Divide
Listening to the cries of the young adults today, I am a bit puzzled. Just WHO are they blaming for all of the issues that plague our society? Sweeping statements regarding sustainability and inclusion are peppered with words I have known for more than 50 years, but that now have a strange new twist in meaning as well as a time stamp that just smacks of this is not my world anymore. Its okay, I expected our children to take over as they became adults, but I am surprised to realize they think my generation is responsible.
Out of respect, she does not attack me personally. Rather, she knows I am up to speed with the wrongs in our world, yet takes a condescending tone when it comes to discussing how it got here and what it takes to fix this mess.
She claims “old, white men” have no clue what the world needs any more and should not be deciding the future of anything. NOT a direct quote, more of a paraphrase. My incredibly intelligent daughter has always had a way of flooring me, but this was new. Did I mention she is a college graduate? I am pretty sure a lot of her rhetoric was picked up there.
You Don’t Know Me
As I stewed on her words at the Thanksgiving table, much like the carcass of the turkey breast I included for Hubs and my son, I began to realize something. She really does not know my generation, or that we were known for protesting, Greta Thunberg has nothing on us.
“American activism covered a wide range of causes and utilized many different forms of activism. American sociopolitical activism became especially prominent during the period of societal upheaval which began during the 1950s.”Digital Public Library of America https://dp.la/exhibitions/activism
Growing up in the 60’s and 70’s, we had plenty to protest, and we DID. We protested war (Korea, Viet Nam), commercialism and corporate greed, segregation, pollution of our water and our planet. We believed in natural medicine and organic living. Communes were our answer to nanny state care, we can take care of ourselves, together as a community.
We Are ALL Different
It’s important to have sensitivity towards people who are different, either by choice or because they were “born that way”. Unfortunately, this growing need to raise awareness for every conceivable issue is only creating a focus on….. nothing. There is way too much going on.
Dialing down to raising awareness for every minute need and difference among us hasn’t helped our youth to understand kindness in an encompassing way. It has divided us into smaller and smaller groups. Rather than working together en masse to bring improvement, we are run ragged giving special attention to the needs of loved ones in our realm, then the friends in our realm, then the family of our friends, then the friends of our friends…. until we simply run out of resources to handle all of it.
What Do We Do About It?
Enough of the problem, what is the solution? I am not going to say I have all the answers, yet I have not given up my ability to think critically and I do see a way back. It is so simple.
We need to stop dividing ourselves into smaller and smaller groups. I do that by including everyone in my heart.
In Love and Light, Kitty