It’s observed by both the devout and the mindless attendants of good taste. It suggests day-to-day life in America dulls appreciation. It prescribes a yearly twenty-four hour period of thankfulness as a restorative. Its name is Thanksgiving. And it would be a terrible thing if it were true.
Life in America is neither dulling or dull. Life in America is brilliant; made so mindfully and continuously by the very day-to-day experience the fourth Thursday in November misrepresents.
Daily life is the result of a process started 3.75 billion years ago when energy from a small yellow dwarf star joined forces with pre-biotic chemicals located on one of eight nearby orbiting planets. The crowing achievement of this process (so far) is the human brain, a unique biological structure, in which, somewhere, is found the human mind.
One of the things that happens inside the human mind, is unique to the human mind. No other 3.75 billion year old receiver of energy has yet managed this thing. It’s called thought. Without thought, the mind drifts from event to event, forever distracted and disconnected from the world. With thought, the mind connects cause to effect, generates alternatives, considers trade-offs, weathers the storms of probability, and eliminates engines of pretense and error. Some of these are: faith, dogma, authority, conventional wisdom, old wives’ tales, folklore, and mythology.
Thought does not belong to America. But America is thought’s most comfortable home. It’s a day-to-day comfort derived from unrestricted discussion and constant correction.
The advantage, privilege, and appreciation of day-to-day life in America is not borne out by a twenty-four hour period of thanks, nor can it be.
74F72FE7(R01) • Nov 25, 2015
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