Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving

It is Thanksgiving, and as part of my ever failing goal of actually writing more in this blog, even though no one seems to be reading it (perhaps there's a connection there), It's time to talk about Thanksgiving.  As the name implies Thanksgiving is, or was supposed to be about giving thanks, but it has long ceased being so.  Most people still try to do some lip service to that by listing a few things they're thankful for, but that is no longer the primary purpose. 

In that vein, I would like to say that I'm thankful for my new job.  I'm finally away from substitute teaching.  I'm working for a place that takes outsourced tech support calls for a satellite television service.  I have one day of classroom training left, then will be starting live on the phones with added help for another two weeks.  I get a decent benefit package, and a few other perks that make it nice. This means I get to pay off some bills, and finally have a bit of fun too.  I can also do some of the things with the scouts that I've been meaning to do.  It's amazing how many wonderful things can be directly traced back to being able to actually earn something resembling a living.

I'm also grateful to my parents that we've been able to live with them.  It's solved a great many problems for us, and allowed us to get on our feet far better than would otherwise be possible.

The only thing is that I guess I can't exactly call myself "formertech" anymore, except that I'm not going to change it because I'm not a computer tech, and I don't intend on staying a front line phone tech for long.  I'm going to work my way up, or find something even better.

What I'd actually like to talk about though is Thanksgiving.  It isn't really about overtly giving thanks anymore.  It seems to be about gluttony, and watching a stupid athletic event on television or similar.  But is that really a bad thing?

First off, let's address the charge of gluttony.  A cynic might suggest it's a bad ting, as would someone trying to find sources of "bad" in society, but first and foremost Thanksgiving is a celebration.  Humans have nearly always celebrated whatever they are celebrating with some sort of feast.  While Thanksgiving isn't really celebrating anything in particular, it is still done with a feast.  If approached with the right attitude, that can be a great thing.  Enjoy it, and have fun. 

Now for the football.  I'm not sure why football is played so much on Thanksgiving, but it doesn't really hurt anyone. Sure for those of us who hate the sport, it's annoying, but don't watch.  I don't and no one in my family does. 

So what is Thanksgiving really about?  It's about family, about seeing them, and being together.  A shared repast is a traditional way of doing that.  Food is generally about socialization, and often love or friendship.  Thanksgiving should reflect that.  Even if the original idea of giving thanks is going away, it can still be a celebration of being together.