The thought of sitting awkwardly at a table, in front of an array of Thanksgiving dishes that people overspent on, stressed about and labored over unnecessarily — it sounds about as appetizing as… It basically makes me cringe just thinking about it. It doesn’t sound appealing at all. And to make matters worse, the thought of 45 million turkeys being killed for a one day celebration of American gluttony and TV watching? No thanks. I’ll pass. I’m totally onboard with the idea of gratitude and giving thanks. I’m all for that, every day of the week, or even making a national holiday of it. I just don’t think that’s what Thanksgiving is. And if Thanksgiving is about family & friends, and being thankful for abundance, isn’t there a wiser and more sustainable way we can honor life and its blessings? How about a nature walk with those we love? Let’s all meet at the beach (forest, canyon, or city park) and enjoy the fresh air and energy moving through our bodies. Instead of rubbing our bellies in front of a movie or TV, how about we make eye-contact and play a game? Let’s actually create something together. How about, instead of wasting money on excess food and holiday decorations we don’t need, how about we donate that money to an animal rescue facility or local homeless shelter?
I’m getting older, and the older I get the more I see the automatic ways of our culture. We can complain about the recent presidential election (or the status of the economy) all we want. But the truth is, it’s a reflection of the collective consciousness of U.S. Americans. We are a culture that LOVES to waste. We love to waste our natural resources, we love to waste our time, and we love to waste our brain power. Most of us are eager to seek distractions, eager to follow trends, and eager to fit in. And we know it! Yet we act like we don’t, because to own up would mean we have to take personal responsibility. What would life be like if individually we decided to be more resourceful, more creative and more accountable? Is it possible that collectively we could change the world for the better? It’s worthy of an experiment. Let’s look at how we spend our lives (or the lives we take or harm in excess out of habit/cultural norms). Let’s liberate ourselves (and all living beings — let’t not forget, we are symbiotic). Let’s design new celebrations, new ways of honoring each other and new ways of giving thanks.