Editorial : In the nick of time
Thanksgiving Day arrives each year just in the nick of time. All the worry and uncertainty, and all the questions for which we have no answers, may be displaced for a day as we recall and contemplate so much about which we have no doubt.
This year and the last have leveled us, humbled us, and infuriated us, impoverished us. Occasionally we've been inspired to hopefulness, only to see it eroded. As the year's end approaches, we face ahead - what other choice is there? - wincing against the uncertainty. Nevertheless, here is the annual chance to shift one's attention from what is so drainingly difficult, from what is global and national and impossible. This is the moment to attend instead to what is near, what is known, what endures, to what and to whom we may count on, to what is possible, and to what, in all its remarkable potential, is given us.
We are blessed, for instance, with the opportunity to forge friendships and loving bonds, and to make them last. When life itself and everything in it has changed and changed again until it is nearly unrecognizable, there remains a partner who is ever more familiar, ever more comfortable, and ever more dependable. We may be blessed also with a partner whom we can comfort and for whom we can be unwaveringly dependable. To comfort and to be comforted are twin emollients for a world-tattered soul.
We are blessed with days like this tomorrow, when we can do something uncommon yet familiar, in the company of family and friends, a day that is everything except every day. It is a day to say whew, it's been a drudge of a trudge to get here, but here we are. Let's take a moment.
We are blessed with the chance to begin again - who doesn't need that? We can re-evaluate old assumptions, and make changes. We can start over. We can abandon old, unrewarding pursuits and try new challenges. With no lingering drag of regret, we can put away our failures and disappointments and get busy with something fresh and promising.
We are blessed with diversity. Appearance, values, pursuits, language, passions, humor - all different among us, none particularly noteworthy, except as it is attached to each individual's accomplishments.
Thankfully, we can recognize nonsense for what it is, though often we don't. And, alert to its prevalence among us, we give nonsense its name, and instead recognize good sense for what it is and determine to have more of the latter in our lives.
We have learned, thank goodness, to distinguish between fairness and unfairness and to practice the former in our dealings with our neighbors. We have learned that on the day after Thanksgiving, if we have been unfair, or unreasonable, or unforgiving, we can set things right, or begin to. We can do better.
We possess, though we ignore it sometimes, the instinct to thank God for all we enjoy. Tomorrow's just the day to do so.