We really enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday and the chance to come together in love, peace and gratefulness. At our house, we gather with an assortment of family and friends, many of whom have never met each other before. We put aside any and all divisiveness, distance, and dislikes and celebrate our common humanity, our loves and losses, and our overwhelming gratefulness for the opportunity to relate to each other and share a meal in friendship. We acknowledge our connection to all living things and the grace that allows us to be together, facing life’s challenges with peace in our hearts.
Maude: This is a favorite holiday for me. I see it as a chance to renew and share an awareness of our connection to each other and our incredible blessings and opportunities in this life. It represents what is possible for all of us: to come together with friends, family and strangers, to get to know each other, to share our lives. There is something special about preparing a meal and eating together (we do the basics and everyone brings things to share, turning the dinner into a huge potluck).
This holiday is not commercial (we ignore those attempts and the silly Black Friday hype) and it is more about people coming together than most other official occasions. We seem more open to the idea that we are all related, and in the broader sense, all in one family.
I think celebrating together in this way also makes us more aware of those who are not so fortunate, and our connection to them. It is my firm hope that we will all find ways to be of service to all our brothers and sisters and to find ways to include more and more in our lives and hearts.
Phil: I’m from England, where there is no Thanksgiving, and I find it the most wonderful American holiday of the year. For starters, it’s relatively noncommercial, but mainly I love it for its heart, the coming together of friends and strangers, of inviting waifs and strays to the table. I’ve been the table and I’ve been the waif.
It brings out a spirit of openness and sharing that is within all of us but is not acted upon much of the year. Instead, we live in our own small private worlds. There’s nothing wrong with that – I’m coming to see that the duality of the individual and the group is a key human characteristic – a split that echoes in politics, religion and relationship.
For some people, Thanksgiving may have become a family gathering where Uncle Spleen rants about politics and Cousin Cloud is convinced of the power of crystals, but in my half a lifetime in this country, I have met only love, generosity and openness. It’s an echo from hundreds of years ago and proof of the connection and caring we all have for each other.
So, we want to let all of you know how glad we are to be connected to you and to share our work of spreading peace on this planet, one relationship at a time. Happy Thanksgiving!