If you are listening to this commentary over the radio and not as a pod cast or on the internet, it means that you are up very early for a national holiday. Perhaps you are on your way home from the midnight shift. Maybe you got up early to get the turkey into the oven in time for a noon-time feast. Or you are just getting on the road for a four or five hour drive to a thanksgiving destination. Whatever your reason for listening today I wish you and all of your loved ones a warm and peaceful thanksgiving.
The stock-market is closed. The election is over. Gas prices are low. The western half of highway 40/64 opens in eighteen days. There are only eighty days from now until the time when Cardinal pitchers and catchers report for spring training in Jupiter, Florida. There are many reasons to be thankful on this day. Given the prevailing depressed mood of the country, perhaps our pause to give thanks this year needs to be focused on truly important things.
Before the turkey gets passed and the gravy spills on the tablecloth, let us give thanks that we:
• Live in a country that chooses its presidents by ballots, not bullets.
• Have the capacity to spend $700 Billion to restore our economy.
• Have moved several steps closer to a color blind society.
• Can still be moved by our moral conscience and sense of responsibility to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, and house the homeless.
• Still choose to remember a band of pilgrims and their courage, displayed 377 years ago.
Please feel free to add to the list. I am sure your list will be more thoughtful than mine. Happy Thanksgiving!
(The opinions expressed are not necessarily those of St. Louis Public Radio.)
Mark Shook is Rabbi Emeritus at Temple Israel.