Thanks

freedomfromwant.jpg

I’m thankful that you don’t
have to look exactly like this
to celebrate Thanksgiving.
(See note below.)

Happy American Thanksgiving to all of my friends in lands where turkey is not the main course of a calorie-laden meal served sometime later in the day than your usual mid-day feast.

My daughter, a student at the University of St Andrews in Scotland, misses her home and family more today than any other. Her first two Thanksgivings away from the U.S. were accompanied by heroic efforts to replicate the traditional holiday festivities. Today, via video iChat (the technology for which I’m most thankful), she joked that she may pick up a turkey sandwich at Subway. It’s impossible to express how thankful I am for having a daughter so special.

Today, along with my wife and son (likewise, for whom I’m thankful and believe I’m blessed to have both in my life), I’ll celebrate Thanksgiving with family in the beautiful town of Fairhope, Alabama. There will be lots of people there who I dearly love, but don’t tell them enough — nor do I even see them enough. I’m thankful for them (and thankful that my brother has discovered text-messaging in the past year, increasing our communication with one-another by many factors). There will be some family not present for reasons of work, distance or health for whom I’m also thankful.

I’m thankful for the people I spend each day with in my work — fellow employees and clients and freelancers and vendors and those of you who I encounter on this blog or by other means of online conversation. I’m thankful for the friends I have who never read this blog nor have any idea what Twitter is. And I’m also thankful for the deep friendships I’ve made with others who I’ve met because of their (your) and my willingness to experiment with these new ways of expressing our ideas, concerns, knowledge and, at times, idiocy.

I’m a believer in the goodness of people. I’m also a believer in a higher power I call God. Today, I am thankful to many people, and to that God, for blessings seen, and unseen. Known, and unknown.

In a time of uncertainty (which, in reality, all times are), I am thankful for those who can maintain their faith and hope that if we work together, we can help create a better, healthier, more equitable, more peaceful, wiser, and more sustainable tomorrow.

Happy Thanksgiving.

A little magazine history trivia about that famous Thanksgiving scene: Norman Rockwell’s illustration is perhaps the most iconic representation of the Thanksgiving meal — right up there with the Coca-Cola Santa. I wonder how many people try to replicate it each year, believing it’s the way Thanksgiving would be if the relatives weren’t so crazy and dysfunctional (humor intended). Ironically, the illustration was not first published on Thanksgiving. Rather, it was published in February, 1943 as part of a series inspired by a speech by Franklin Roosevelt called the “Four Freedoms” address. In it, Roosevelt outlined what he believed to be the four freedoms every one in the world should enjoy: 1. Freedom of speech and expression 2. Freedom of religion 3. Freedom from want 4. Freedom from fear. The illustration, called “Freedom from Want” was later used in government posters to promote the sell of WWII war bonds and on postage stamps. And now, it appears everywhere from greeting cards to blog posts.