In a way, the food served has gone through as complex, and political, of iterations. In this current time, there are many avoided foods: processed foods, sugared foods, meat products, megafarm products, GMO products, fatty foods, fruits, sprouts. This makes for a complicated dance in setting up the Thanksgiving menu.
What hasn't changed is the importance of giving thanks. The ability to access gratitude is associated with enhanced well being and decreased stress and greater hope. Giving thanks allows one to go deeper than a more superficial hedonic satisfaction that is never sufficient. This week, take time to reflect on the people, the pets, the foods, the missions, all in YOUR life, that contribute to the fabric and texture and depth of daily existence. I call you to share a moment at your table over the turkey or tofurkey or almond-turkey <jk> where each guest shares two items over which gratitude is experienced.
This one fixed piece, the gratitude, to the Thanksgiving tradition is especially key now. There is drama following the St. Louis County grand jury's decision to not indict Darren Wilson. There are tragedies being played out at this moment in the Ukraine, Syria, Israel, Iraq, and Yemen. The Ebola crisis is only slowly coming under control in Western Africa. It is vital to hold each others' hands at the table, accept what cannot be changed, take action over what can be changed, and offer two items of thanks.