Giving Thanks in the midst of political strife. . .

“Patience: (noun):  the ability to bear provocation, annoyance, misfortune, or pain, without complaint, loss of temper, irritation, or the like; an ability or willingness to suppress restlessness or annoyance when confronted with delay” (Wikipedia).

 

By Larry Fedewa, Ph.D.

(Washington, DC, November 24, 2020) Here we are: The fate of the nation is at stake; we wait helplessly as the wheels of justice slowly begin to turn, triggering a breathlessness in our chests, and the waiting goes on. And then along comes Thanksgiving, exhorting us to give thanks!

“For what?” we think – “for the biggest mess since the presidential election of 1824, when the House elected John Quincy Adams instead of the more popular Andrew Jackson. You gotta be kidding!!”

We are totally dependent for a legitimate outcome on other people. I, personally, have not interviewed a single person who claims fraud or innocence, nor have 99% of the general population. We are totally dependent on the word of others, with no means of validating their claims. That is, of course, the responsibility of the Judiciary – the slowest process in politics.

So, with no other choice, we take another look at giving thanks. Surprisingly, there is a great deal of food for thought in that direction. First, we can give thanks for living in a country which allows such fundamental disputes to be decided peacefully. We can be thankful that there is in fact a chance for every citizen to express a choice for all the individuals who will exercise power over our lives, as well vote for that choice. We can be thankful that the nation cares enough about protecting the right to have each citizen’s vote be counted to go through a harrowing trial such as this year’s election results.

There are other life experiences also which merit our gratitude. High on this list is the fact that the American culture we live in so values personal freedom that it is the hallmark of our political identity. Americans will tolerate intrusions on their personal liberty — as the COVID lockdowns have recently demonstrated – but only so far, as the “recovery” has also proven. This is not a virtue won by anyone now living. but rather one which was formed and passed down to us by our elders. Our contribution is to adapt our freedom to contemporary conditions and to pass on an updated sense of our national treasure to those who come after us.

Yes, giving thanks is good for the soul (and the blood pressure!)

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

 

© 2020 Richfield Press. All rights reserved.

 


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