I enjoy this particular holiday the most. It seems to be more about the day off of work to enjoy incredibly good food with friends and family nowadays than reenacting the day the pilgrims sat down with the Indians at the beginning of our country's history. That is a good thing, I think. Let the day evolve into one with meaning for today instead of doing it just because everyone else is.
And, there is meaning everywhere. The other day, my friend Karen told me that I always look for the positive in people, whereas she tends to look for the negatives in self defense. Discussing this, she learned that just because I dig for the positives doesn't mean that I don't see the negatives, and the reverse was true for her too. She may be on guard about the negatives, but she sees the positives.
This has come more obvious as I continue to write as a reporter for the local newspaper. I report what I see. What it takes for me to do this is a conscious effort to quiet my emotions. Quiet them, but not ignore them or let my emotions taint what I am seeing. When I write it all out is when I see the ramifications of what was said or what happened - not only for the people directly involved, but everyone. It's quite the experience to see such a vast amount of potential, every day and every time I am sent out on assignment.
I've watched politicians behave and say one thing while in a formal meeting, only to behave and say the very opposite once the formal meeting was adjourned. I've seen politicians blatantly brown their noses to promote their own interests, and others so selflessly concerned with their community that nothing could be more important to them. I watched one mother and her four children receive a brand new home because her rental had sewage problems, and another mother with four children and a husband in Iraq struggle to get a home back together after a fire burned everything that family had. I watched as WWII veterans came alive from their wheelchairs as other tireless veterans came to celebrate their service to their country.
I'm heading out today to visit three places in this small Arkansas town that are serving Thanksgiving dinner for free. One is a church, one a fire station, and one is a popular coffee house. Armed with my camera and notepad, I'll hear people's stories from both the giving and receiving side of things. I'll watch it all unfold and capture a few moments with my camera.
I'll celebrate with them, thankful that the day provides the reason to give, the greatest gift by far.