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Thursday, November 22, 2012

Some Thanksgiving Food For Thought

Have you ever read George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation? I just saw it on Pinterest.

Before I start my baking today, I thought that it might be nice to make a post using these words. It's hard to read from the picture, because the type is so small.

There are more references to God than I would have thought, given that this is the big uniquely American holiday, that all Americans can celebrate together precisely, because it has nothing to do with religion.

I hear many people talking about the foods that we eat on Thanksgiving as the one day of the year that they eat them. But for my family, except for a few things, we basically eat the same meal for Christmas and Easter too. But those are religious holidays.

This year my family's Thanksgiving meal is going to be much earlier, because some family members work retail and have to work at midnight.

When I was a kid, Thanksgiving was truly a holiday. Mostly everyone had the full day off and could enjoy their family dinners. Now the focus has turned to Christmas shopping.

So instead of having one day for rest and gratitude, many are rushed and stressed. It's really a shame. Thanksgiving comes first and we should all get to enjoy this one day. I can see in other countries, being geared up for Christmas now, because they don't celebrate Thanksgiving. But we do.

Can't we have this one day when the focus isn't on consumerism? It's a national shame that people are literally trampling each other to death in order to purchase things. Nearly four years ago, Walmart worker Jdimytai Damour was trampled to death soon after his store opened for a sale. Walmart is still fighting  a $7,000 fine by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration that it failed to control the crowd of shoppers. How many people will be injured or killed tonight or tomorrow in the rush for things?

Instead of shopping, we should be looking for redemption. As it is, the origins of Thanksgiving are far from noble if we look at the big picture. We should at least make something good out of the history.

I'm totally with the Walmart workers as they strike against poor work conditions and unfair treatment. I've never been a fan of Walmart and hopefully many of us will show solidarity with people who work at Walmart. If we stand together, we can make a difference.

Even more than that, I wish that people would just hold off shopping a bit. If there were less demand for shopping tonight, then people wouldn't have to leave their Thanksgiving meals early to get ready for work. I understand that people who are in the medical and emergency fields have always had to work on holidays. But they are protecting life. Saving lives. Shopping cannot even be compared. Although, I guess I just did! : )

Remember the phrase, "We the people." Those are three powerful words. Anyway, here is the text below from the Massachusetts Centinel Wednesday, October 14, 1789.

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WHEREAS it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favour; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me "to recommend to the people of the United States a DAY OF PUBLICK THANKSGIVING and PRAYER, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"

NOW THEREFORE, I do recommend and assign THURSDAY, the TWENTY-SIXTH DAY of NOVEMBER next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed;-- for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish Constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted;-- for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge;-- and, in general, for all the great and various favours which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also, that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions;-- to enable us all, whether in publick or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shewn kindness unto us); and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.

GIVEN under my hand, at the city of New-York, the third day of October, in the year of our Lord, one thousand seven hundred and eighty-nine.
(signed) G. Washington

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Happy Thanksgiving! I hope you have a restful and joyous one!


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