‘unthankful day’???

Ingratitude is always a kind of weakness. I have never known men of ability to be ungrateful.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Ungratefulness is worse than a cancer; it eats away at your soul;
blinding your heart and eyes to the beauty and miracles that are
all around us each day in our lives.

Geraldine Vermaak


(a storefront window seen in Savannah, Ga / Julie Cook / 2019)

Well, I certainly hope everyone had a warm, happy and thanks-filled Thanksgiving!

Whether yours was small and quiet or large and raucous, I hope you had
some time for a bit of private and or even vocal reflection…
being able to reflect upon what it was and is that you have in your life to be
thankful for and over.

I made mention, in one of my posts prior to my brief Thanksgiving hiatus, that
I was concerned about our society’s obsessive frenzy over of all things black,
cyber and local shopping for Christmas, as we hurridly hop from Halloween to Christmas
flippantly glossing over Thanksgiving…

That in our zest and zeal, for all things of consumerism and materialism,
we forget the importance that first and foremost, there must always be gratitude.

Like many other families and individuals, our little crew took the show on the road
this Thanksgiving.
We ventured to Georgia’s first city…the city of her inception, Savannah.

There’s a bit of personal history there and I’ll chat about that another day…
but for today, my focus is on that of being thankful.

Thursday, before we were to sit down and break bread over our own Thanksgiving dinner,
we enjoyed a leisurely stroll throughout this Southern historic city.
As we made our way through the city’s shopping district, we noted that there were
actually, a few businesses open, while the majority were closed for the observation of Thanksgiving.

As I would expect nothing less.
Families and individuals being able to take a day for a national observation of
gratitude.

I stopped in front of a local business that had posted a bit of a diatribe on their
storefront window extolling the importance of an “Unthanksgivng Day” as they
opted to stand with the indigenous people.
Decolonize this place they said??

Huh?

First I thought to myself, “here you are closed, on a national day of Thanksgiving so
perhaps you should have actually been open to show your true discontent…
or is that malcontent?
But instead, you were closed, most likely indulging in the day…”

And then I pondered the notion of decolonization…as in are we all to vacate this
Nation of ours, heading back to whatever land was that of our ancestors,
telling the last one out to leave a single light on.

The following day, I caught a news story in the same vein of thinking.
It was a story about how the disgruntled, or is that disgraced,
former football QB Colin Kaepernick, who had attended an
“Unthanksgiving Day” on Alcatraz Island, of all places, vocalized his endorsement for
an Indigenous People’s day while espousing the need to do away
with Thanksgiving.

Sigh.

Again, I thought, ‘here is a very blessed young American man who has had so very
much in his life to be thankful over and for, yet he’s promoting the notion of
being Unthankful…”

It makes no sense to me.

Am I the only one who sees the egregious irony in someone having been adopted
as a baby and in turn, afforded so very much love and opportunities, opportunities
found in a great land of freedom and just that, opportunity, and yet here he is touting
a day of Unthanksgiving?
Is not this unthanksgivng just another word for ingratitude?
As in unthankful?
As in ungrateful.

Oh, I get it.
I get what this is all about.
I get the gist behind all of this being that our Native American populations have grievously
suffered over the centuries at the hands of the white European’s first arrival and then
the ensuing conquest of the new land.

I have often said we owe a great deal to our native Americas past and present,
but try as we like, we cannot rewrite our history.
We can’t do away with Columbus Day despite his treatment of the locals upon landing…
because he also opened a great door.

We can’t discredit that.

We can’t decolonize a nation or toss out Thanksgiving because Pilgrims
have gotten more attention than their local native hosts.

That is what much of this millennial disgruntlement seems to be about…
a desire to rewrite an often less than stellar history.

But here’s the thing—you can’t rewrite your history…it is what it is.

It is there for better or for worse, in hopes that you will learn from it
not erase it just because you don’t like it.
It will not disappear no matter how hard you try to turn it into
something it never was.

That you will learn from what was
Grow from what was.
That you do not repeat the negative of what was.
But rather that you may find that which must be celebrated and
in turn, offer thanks…

Do not grouse.
Do not complain.
Do not lament.
Do not have a temper tantrum over that which you do not fully grasp
understand or truly know…
And do not whine over that which you cannot change.

But rather learn, grow and rejoice.

Be grateful.

Do not ask what is there to be grateful for…
the list is endless.

Be thankful for the others, who went before you, offered their lives
so you could live in a place that allows you to grouse, to complain
to have temper tantrums while you opt to hashtag everything that
comes across your phone.

Find your gratitude not your negativity.

All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more
people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

2 Corinthians 4:15

26 comments on “‘unthankful day’???

  1. pkadams says:

    It’s scary how brainwashed they are. And sad that they are so unable to cope with reality. We can’t go back in time! We can only love each other NOW. The liberals have destroyed the happiness of this young generation by telling them that everything sucks and they have been so oppressed. Like every ‘boomer’ was part of it? They need to study the rest of history, not just the parts that the liberals want them to know. Be thankful you live in free country and keep it that way! The smart ‘indigenous peoples’ have gotten over it and are part of the country now. Does no good to sit around yearning for 1491.

    • Amen!! Yes, for better or worse, the Native American population has become one of the treads that weaves the blanket of who we are as Americans!!!
      The whole concept of unthanksgiving is absolutely upside down and now throw in the notion of decolonization and I’m totally confused as to what they want— they being a liberal anger filled , generally youth filled, left??? Oh if they could simply spend their energies they’ve invested in the negative of protest and intolerance toward the positive and betterment of their fellow human being imagine what a happy nation we could be…

  2. Bruce says:

    Interesting post Julie. Two sides of a coin being voiced but you’re voicing both sides. I wonder if the indigenous peoples would have a different perspective? One of your sentences caught my attention; “But here’s the thing—you can’t rewrite your history…it is what it is.”. You are correct, we can’t rewrite it but steps can al least be taken to try to acknowledge and correct it, if injustices were done. I live in Canada and our track record isn’t any better than yours but I can’t help but feel that those who voice what you perceive as unthankfulness are actually articulating what they consider as injustice, beneath what has become “Thanksgiving”. I could be wrong. I think we have to be awful careful when we start to voice what we perceive that others mean, without actually taking the time to find out what exactly they do mean, from them. Just a thought. I probably should have kept this thought to myself but fools walk in where angels fear to tread. You strike me as a “thinker” so I’m curious about your response. No offence intended (seriously). Blessings.

    • Agreed Bruce but to claim one supports that of unthanksgiving — a word that denotes a lack of gratitude, in the first place, is an incorrect beginning— I understand what their impetus is— their direction, but the way to go about bringing light to the plight the Native Americans or any other group for that matter, is not to clamor for something that speaks of being thankless but rather to demonstrate gratitude— our “reservations” are rife with poverty along with alcoholism and drug abuse — there is little hope for a productive future found within many of the reservations— so many leave in hopes of finding a better life outside the reservation—
      Yes, we have many injustices in our past and yes we acknowledge such but we must then take what we can and go forward building a better tomorrow for all Americans( I speak here as an in-house issue and not so much globally)
      My fist reaction to this latest movement was a sense of ungratefulness coming from the voices within— I think a great deal about Mother Teresa in these sorts of situations— a tiny woman who spoke volumes by simply rolling up her sleeves and doing for those in need, one individual at a time— no time for angry protests or words— simply tending to the needs of others one person at a time— offering love, dignity and care over anger, demonstrations or protests —
      I’m pretty certain I know what is meant in all of this— I also think I know how this could be gone about in a more positive sort of fashion— something about the gift of hindsight that comes with age — I suspect you know something about that as well Bruce— when we are thankful for even the smallest things— our hearts begin to open more and more— allowing us to be able to give more and more of ourselves

  3. […] via ‘unthankful day’??? — cookiecrumbstoliveby […]

  4. atimetoshare.me says:

    Being grateful for a whole week to recover, watch old movies, sit on a heating pad and eating my turkey TV dinner on Thanksgiving. Add to that, my youngest daughter’s family came to clear a ton of snow off our driveway and a special dinner out with that same daughter on Friday – just the two of us chattering and having a blessed time. In my little corner of the universe, it’s all good.

    • Each and everyday we give grace and gratitude for the little and the big blessings — many we tend to overlook as we take such for granted— warmth found on these cold winter days , warm meals and the warmth of the heart from those who love us as we love them!!!
      Love you my little snow-girl ⛄️❄️☃️

  5. Wyldkat says:

    “Decolonize this place.”
    My first answer: you first.
    2nd answer: Go back to where? Which land/country? My ancestors are from all over Western Europe, oh and North America. So, since part of my ancestors are from here, does that mean I get to stay?
    3rd thought – is that even a word? (quick search shows, that yes it is, but I don’t think it means what they think it means. [ I found: “to release from the status of a colony”])

    “Indigenous People’s day” … I thought that was Columbus Day? Did it move?

    I am, and will always be, sympathetic to the First Americans and how they were treated – not just in the past but even today. But let’s be honest here, they lost. And, like all conquered people, they were either wiped out or forced to assimilate. Do I think forcing them onto the reservations was fair? No, but compared to other countries that were invaded and conquered those same reservations allowed more cultural rights to the survivors.

    If nothing else, we can be thankful that we live in a place where we’re free to express discontent without fear of government repercussions.

    • Excellent words my Tennessee wldkat!!!!
      I know— I wasn’t so sure it was a word either and I dare think they are using it incorrectly— I couldn’t have said this better than you!
      All points well taken and spot on!
      Yes, where shall we then go as we are hodgepodges— and I totally agree about our Native Americans— my heart has grieved over past wrongs but yes, that was in the past, we cannot change what was done— we move forward together—
      Thank you so much for your thoughtful words!!!

  6. Indigenous: “produced, growing, living, or occurring natively or naturally in a particular region or environment.” Okay, I must ask, “so what?” Even if it were possible to factually establish who or what was truly indigenous, what’s the virtue in being indigenous? If it is the idea that indigenous tribes were somehow more virtuous than the newcomers, and thus more deserving of the land, I have this to say to those ignorant of real history: “The marriage of ignorance and certitude is the most stable and enduring of all marriages.” That’s from Kevin Williamson, and I agree.

  7. Good post, Julie. Maybe the people who want to celebrate Unthanksgiving should be the first to try to return to their land of origin but I’ll bet they wouldn’t be welcomed with open arms. And people who think their actions today will undo the actions of the first Europeans a few centuries ago strike me as people trying to unring a bell after it strikes! Yes, they were terribly unjust to the plight of the Native Americans, they were also extremely unjust to the slaves, but that is history! It happened, it was not right, some people, among them my great-great-great grandfather, newly arrived from Ireland, fought to free the slaves. He never owned another person but he saw an injustice and willingly fought with the Union Army unit from Baltimore to free people in his new country.
    And as for Thanksgiving, I personally celebrate that every day. No matter what life throws my way I always find something better to be thankful for. And there is always a reason to smile at something or someone every day. Decolonize? Why not let them begin the first colony on the moon? What country would they prefer living in? I don’t think they have really thought this one thru.

  8. Tricia says:

    Lovely post Julie on a rather ugly and ungrateful movement sweeping our nation. People like the owner of the store virtue signaling over the evils of Thanksgiving Colonialists while of course taking the day off or the insufferable Colin K are shallow, hypocrites. I hope inconsequential too but that remains to be seen.

  9. Dawn Marie says:

    Hear! Hear! Raising a glass to your wonderfully written address! I look forward to whatever may come – to startle this particular negative monologue to cease and desist! Hopefully, it will not need to be something rather tragic.

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