Nov. 27, 2014 By Jack Jodell.
Happy Thanksgiving, my friends! I hope today finds you healthy, reasonably happy and secure, plus I am wishing you will all be blessed with good friends, close family ties, and special, meaningful companionship. As hopefully each of us enjoys a marvelous Thanksgiving dinner this day or evening, let us not forget those who, for one reason or another, will not be sharing in the joy of this special feast. By this, I mean those who are apart from us in the service, or are homeless, without money, gravely ill. injured either physically or emotionally, locked up in prison, as well as the physically or mentally disabled. Let us keep these unfortunates in our thoughts and prayers, Let us also resolve to do at least one act of kindness for the less fortunate sometime within the next month now that the Christmas season is approaching. Let’s be givers instead of takers this year, shall we?
On this Thanksgiving Day, I find that I am thankful and grateful for a number of very special things. I list them below (in no particular order of importance, because they are ALL important):
- The wonderful people I have come to know over the past 6 1/2 years in this blogosphere. Your encouragement, insight, empathy, comments and articles have given me much food for thought, inspiration, knowledge, and wisdom, and I am deeply appreciative of you and indebted to you. I will single out several of these outstanding colleagues, and apologize if I have omitted too many of you. With gratitude to all, I mention Burr Deming, Gwendolyn Holden Barry, F. Wayne Johnson, David (Krell) Williams, TomCat, “Max’s Dad”, Michael Hew (aka mycue23), Al (“Oso”) Osori, Marc McDonald, Mike Stimpson, Sandy Jimenez (aka SJ), Jerry Critter, mudrake, Microdot, Manifesto Joe, S. W. Anderson, Darlene in Arizona, and many, MANY others! Collectively and individually, you have immeasurably enriched my life. Thank you!
- The wonderful activists nationwide who have devoted a tremendous amount of their lives fighting for economic, social, and environmental justice as well as for peace. We ALL owe these people a tremendous debt of gratitude, and among these are Cherri Foytlin, Kshama Sawant, Dennis Trainor, Doctors Without Borders, Al Osori, the Southern Poverty Law Center, Save the Children, Michael Moore, and a great many others. Each is fighting to make this a fairer, safer, and more just planet.
- The amazing TV network known as FREE SPEECH TV, for bringing us consistently good, relevant programming that NO other cable, satellite, or “mainstream” network presents. Completely viewer-supported, non-commercial, and always short of cash, they somehow miraculously manage to consistently present a boatload of excellent documentaries and top-notch, for-the-people-only television hosts like Amy Goodman, Thom Hartmann, Mike Papantonio, David Pakman, Stephanie Miller, Bill Press, and others. Regardless of whether or not you have cable or satellite, you can view this network’s programs by going to www,freespeech.org/. Check out this fabulous resource often – it is like a breath of fresh air, and is definitely TV for the MAJORITY 99%!
- The Gospel of Matthew, particularly Matthew 25:31-46. Regardless of whether you view Jesus as a philosopher, prophet, or the Son of God, His actual words and teachings as told by His disciple Matthew here reveal Jesus to be NOT an angry, fire-breathing and lightning bolt throwing authoritarian kind of God, as some rabid fundamentalists would like us to believe, but rather a benevolent, loving being who is a strong proponent of selfless behavior, – including feeding, clothing, housing, and helping the poor and less fortunate rather than ignoring, castigating, exploiting, or further depriving them. So, regardless of whether or not you are a Christian, it is hard to deny that this recurrent philosophy of Jesus in favor of justice and support for the underdog is anything other than fair and downright common sense, and should be followed by ALL, especially by greedy warmongering corporatists and capitalist exploiters!
- The great social, political, and economic trailblazers of the past, including Rosa Parks, Abraham Lincoln, Frances Perkins, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Eleanor Roosevelt, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Eugene Debs, Henry Wallace, Harry S Truman, Upton Sinclair, Howard Zinn, Bobby Kennedy, Paul Wellstone, and a great many others, whose sacrifices and tireless struggles made this into a FAR better world than the one which had preceded it. We owe many wonderful things to these people, from civil rights to paid vacations to a social safety net to much, MUCH more!
- The great minds and hearts we have all around us; those who genuinely care about justice and the quality of life we have today as well as into the future. In this category I would place Naomi Klein, Thom Hartmann, Amy Goodman, Noam Chomsky, Joseph Stiglitz, as well as many others. Each of these great individuals has taught me a lot over the years, and I value them tremendously!
EACH of us CAN and SHOULD make a difference in this world – we are NOT helpless islands all by ourselves! Reach out to those around you and offer to lend a hsnd! Think about this, my friends, and HAPPY THANKSGIVING! :-)