Thanksgiving - Attention Needed
A holiday dedicated to eating turkey, mashed potatoes, and other goodies. Followed by a totally material day of shopping. I assume it's the day when business owners thank their customers with great sale discounts.
Surfing the web, learning about the history of Thanksgiving, two things really struck.
The first is the story of “Mother of Thanksgiving”. In 1827 in New York, the noted magazine editor and prolific writer Sarah Josepha Hale, launched a campaign to establish Thanksgiving as a national holiday.
For 36 years she published numerous editorials, sent letters to the governors, senators, presidents and other politicians asking that Thanksgiving become a national holiday. In 1863 Abraham Lincoln finally agreed to her request. That was at the height of the civil war.
Abraham Lincoln had the belief that the by proclaiming it as a national holiday it would help heal the wounds of the nation. He scheduled it to be the final Thursday in November. It was celebrated on the last Thursday until 1939, when Franklin D. Roosevelt moved the holiday up a week in an attempt to spur retail sales during the great depression. (In 1941 it was changed back to the 4th Thursday in Nov.)
I find these two facts fascinating.
Sarah Josepha Hale – a woman on a mission to make Thanksgiving a national holiday. One can call it stubbornness. Others will call her a visionary. I would say she was also brave. It's the nineteenth century when women's voice wasn't heard or had any weight.
Today, sadly enough if you’ll ask anyone who is Sarah Josepha Hale, no one will know. Is it because she was a woman that her accomplishments weren't recognized?
Isn’t it a holiday where we are supposed to remember, acknowledge and thank the people who made a difference in our lives. An individual woman who took it upon herself to commit to creating a day we take for granted.
On the other hand, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s suggestion of a day of shopping stuck. I have to admit his cause was worthy, it was in an effort to create economical recovery.
And again, no one knows it or acknowledge it, all is left is shopping.
Please, don’t misunderstand me, Thanksgiving is a wonderful holiday. It is a time families and friends get together and celebrate with a great feast. I assume there are families and groups who say thank you to each other, privately or as a group, which absolutely warms the heart, and it’s a moment in the year dedicated to gratitude.
How come we forget to pause and think? Think about some else besides ourselves. It’s like enjoying the feast and forgetting the hostess, the one who made it all happen.
I wonder, can we change that? How can we change that? Should we write like “The Mother of Thanksgiving” to senators, government officials, the President, the Education Dept. write to the newspapers, publish on social media?
What will make us remember who brought us to where we are? Just a simple acknowledgment on that day. I might be pushing my luck with a thank you, but you must know about the people who shaped your present.
I have lived in the USA for over 30yrs. and I do love the USA and feel very connected to it. I assume that’s why it matters to me. Looking at our religion, traditions, we never forget how we got to here and now. It would be impossible to forget our roots, it’s entrenched in our bones. We know where we came from. We don’t forget our ancestors; we don’t even forget the people who wronged us, just to remind us to celebrate the power of our freedom. Freedom to live and the freedom to teach, to pass the knowledge on.
Following in “Mother of Thanksgiving” footsteps, I’d like to thank you for being in my life. Thank you for appreciating my artwork. Thank you for appreciating my blogs- if you are reading this one right now… you are one of them
It means a lot to me when you choose my Tallit and connect to meaning behind it. Thanks a wonderful feeling. I touched someone’s life. When you decide to own one of my pieces, you help keep me dedicated to my cause of connecting our history to the present to create a better future. And yes, you help me to grow my business, so Toda Raba תודה רבה (in Hebrew)
And as Franklin D. Roosevelt encourages sharing our gratitude by shopping helping retailers recover the economy.
We are making a difference, maybe “Make a Difference Weekend” will be an uplifting cause. Beats the name “Black Friday”, even though black is my favorite color.
Thanksgiving is in a couple of days, and I have a special coming up just for you, which I’m excited about. So check your email from time to time.
Thank you again. Have a wonderful day, even if it’s only by Zoom this year. What counts are the faces, smiles and warm loving words.