Thanksgiving in the Age of Trump

 

Dear Friends,

Everyday a new scandal breaks, a new terror erupts and it seems as if the fabric of your American moral life is being shredded. But what is that anyway? Wasn’t it really a bit of a lie to begin with? Maybe it was a propped up and agreed upon façade like: “How’s it going?”. You expect to hear: “Fine, Thanks and you?”

Because who’s got time to find out how it’s really going for anyone else? You’re in a hurry, you’re late, and too busy to listen to somebody else’s nightmare, right now. You say it as a nicety, a polite, and accepted lie. It’s actually shocking when somebody answers the question: “Truthfully, I’m not doing too well.” Or “Lousy, thanks.” Oh no! Now what? It’s awkward and time consuming to deal with this guy’s story of what, why, and how much it cost him.

But like it or not, in the Fall of 2017, you do have to deal with the whole ugly story. You and I can’t keep rushing to the next appointment or commitment and ignore the looming disaster unfolding around us. Because in the time of Trumper-tantrums things are not fine. It’s on the phone, the TV, the newspaper, in the air, at the stop sign, the grocery store, it’s everywhere. America the beautiful is exposed daily to a new heartbreakingly, bizarre ruination of yet another institution or once respected individual. It’s like we are fumbling suddenly in a collective dark night of the soul while our sacred truths are crumbling and turning to dust. Nothing is safe from the mad tweets, the lies, the hysteria and fear producing TV crawl.

But that’s another lie. You have choices in how you live, in how you behave, in who you are. You can ignore everything. Turn it off. Avert your eyes. But then you are like the aristocracy at the fat, gilded palace of Versailles when the people of France were starving to death in the streets. Shall we have another clever witticism with our lattes? Stick cotton in your ears so as not to hear buzz saws cutting down the national parks in the distance and be safely protected from the unpleasant facts?

It’s hard, but you actually have to notice as the EPA is disassembled and millions of citizens cannot afford basic health care. Because you are the one who has to grasp what’s happening and you are the one who has to make a choice. You can’t afford to tune it out.

So, here you are at Thanksgiving. The time of abundant food, family gathering together, and friends celebrating the rich harvest. This is a time of great opportunity, a time for you to come of age spiritually. Our leadership is lost, so the common man and woman must show the way.

Pull up your socks and do something.  Look at where you can serve,  how you can give back. It doesn’t matter if you’re giving for the first time. Do it anyway – money to worthy charities, time to causes, compassionate care to the sick, a kind word to the lonely or despairing… this Thanksgiving go around the dinner table and in addition to saying what you are grateful for, ask what you can give to the greater good, how you can elevate your community. How can you open your heart, your wallet, or your mind like you have not before?  Decide to step up, in your family, your circle of friends, and in your town. Don’t wait another minute for other folks to pick up the banner, the check, or the plastic at the beach. Do it yourself, do it now, but do something and be grateful you still can.

Blessings on us all,
In Universal Love and Light,

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