As we near Thanksgiving I was ruminating on the President’s speech on immigration last night. I don’t like to get too political here on my blog, but I feel compelled to share a few thoughts.
First, I have to say (and which will possibly surprise or annoy some), Thanksgiving is my least favorite holiday. My feelings are based on a few reasons: it bothers me that we pick a ‘day’ to be thankful when it feels to me that so many of us don’t feel thankful much of the time (just listen to people around you); people overeat and stuff themselves on this day when so many in this country and others are starving and we continue to be so wasteful with food in this country–not to mention how unhealthy we are around food in this country; and finally the origins of this holiday seem profoundly hypocritical to me given the suffering of the Native Americans in this country today. These are my feelings, so I often spend it working, alone and/or fasting. Plus as one maitre de at a restaurant once said: Thanksgiving is a rather tragic holiday for a vegetarian. (Now I’m a vegan and gluten-free!! )
So here we are in 2014 with an immigration war raging again. It’s not the first time the politicians have fought this battle, and it’s far from over. But I thought about this war, and I thought about Thanksgiving. And I thought about those Pilgrims and the first steps they took on this land when they emigrated here. How they had hopes and dreams for a better life. How they had suffered dreadful seas and weather and lost friends, family and left the homes they knew. They did it because they had a glimmer that maybe they could have something new, forge new fields and build a new, freer government.
They were met by strangers when they set down. Those immigrants who put their feet on this land, not their land, but the land of other caretakers who had lived here for centuries and followed the way of earth. They came in droves after and pushed the natives back. Killed the animals and brought theirs. Cut down the trees and planted their crops. Brought disease and alcohol. More immigrants came from other lands and this nation of ours grew and grew. Cities flew up. Pollution filled the skies. Cars filled the streets. The natives were placed on small tracks of lands and were told this was all they had now.
And now generations of those immigrants call themselves Americans. We, the descendants of those immigrants, call this country great. New immigrants want to come because it is a great nation with opportunity, money, jobs, education. Other immigrants, just like those first ones want to come here because they have the same hopes and dreams to make a better life for themselves and their children. They climb fences, swim rivers, deal with police, get shot…anything to come to our wonderful country and to get away from terrorism, drug dealers, and murderers.
So on Thanksgiving, when people sit around their tables to give thanks–remember your ancestors. Remember where we all came from and why we are here and free. Think about why others might want to be also. Remember we’re not perfect either. We took when we came. Maybe we need to pay it forward now by doing right to some new immigrants because it may certainly be too late to make up for what we’ve done to the Native people who were already here.
The flea battle has been waged in earnest today. Oh we have been fighting minor ones for weeks now, trying everything we read and hear about. I’ve spent a small fortune between the all natural remedies (which completely don’t work I’m sad to say), to the more powerful stuff. We even hand pick them off reminder of the day when my youngest got head lice from school. Gross. We have done full house evacuations and spraying, tossed out their beds and vacuumed over and over. But these creatures will inherent the earth. Unless today’s remedy takes hold. It’s bizarre and I don’t like it but drastic measures were in order. It’s a pill they take from the vet. The fleas die on them. Then a spray from the vet too. Lots of dead ones and as you can see the itchiest pup appears to be resting comfortably for the first time in weeks! Let’s keep our fingers and paws crossed! And pray we all don’t get cancer instead from the spray….
I’ve been thinking about loyalty today. Somehow I keep coming up with this vision of a little spindly tree hanging on for dear life. I’m not sure why except that it seems mostly dead. Searching on the internet I found these two quotes that resonated with how I felt.
“Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens.” JR Tolkien, “The Fellowship Of The Rings”.
“A man is not an orange. You can’t eat the fruit and throw the peel away.” Arthur Miller, “Death Of A Salesman”.
It has seemed to me, especially as of late, loyalty is throw away. It isn’t a nurtured thing to be cultivated and treasured. But maybe this is something of the past, or of the older generation? Is it possible younger folks don’t realize the importance of it?
I’ve noticed with them they seem to attach easily and mistake deep friendships for superficial actions or words. True loyalty and caring appears to go unnoticed or maybe just comes to be expected from those of us that are dependable with our giving and kindness. They look to catch phrases or internet relationships and take these for real interactions, but miss planned and highly calculated efforts to help them. This I find distressing and sad.
Is this the wave of the future? Is loyalty dead? Or do we need to start trying to reinvigorate it? My hope is for the latter, but I’m not always sure how to attain it. I’ve tried to by being loyal myself, but somehow this doesn’t seem to work with some. Setting the example only seems to make me get used by the very ones I hope to teach.
But I won’t give up hope that someday these folks will see the depth of real relationships. That they are based on more than mere words and fluff. Who would come if they needed someone in the darkness or if all that was left of them was the peel. Because I know I am that kind of friend–through all of it, not just superficial moments.
I will end with this quote, and I’m not sure where it came from, but it feels appropriate:
“There’s something wrong with your character if opportunity controls your loyalty”.