Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Traffic Waves & Turkey Legs

I often say one thing and mean something else; I have even recently said that I say the right thing the wrong way far too often. Sometimes I just use the wrong word, and sometimes I use a word that doesn’t describe the fullness of what I mean. Knowing I struggle with this, I have tried to expand my vocabulary. I have found that there are some words that can be misconstrued to mean more or less than that same word means in a different situation. For example, if I were to say that is a big cat. I mean that the cat is large for a cat, yet I use the same word to say that is a big planet. It is big, big for a planet. A cat and a planet are in different leagues from each other size wise, yet I use the same word to describe them. I hope this makes some sense.

Thankfulness is an interesting dynamic. Think about it, we are thankful for someone holding the door open for us, and yet we use the same word for someone who has saved us from drowning. We say thank you to someone that passed us the butter, and we say thank you for someone that has donated a kidney to save our life. Thanks can be lost in translation at times; sitting down to a dinner to celebrate thanks can take on a whole new meaning. It can become far less than it is intended to be. I wonder if that has happened to our society?

The two things that thanks can be described as are gratitude or relief. I wonder which of these we relate to this nearly buried holiday we call thanksgiving. Is it a day that we celebrate the relief of something that we don’t have to endure or if it is gratitude in some way of something that has happened to us. Either way, the word certainly fits the intended idea of the holiday. However, I wonder if we have almost “dumbed” (Which by the way is not a word) it down because it isn’t something that we really think about, rather it is a common courtesy to say if someone opens a door for us.

Is thanksgiving nothing more than a wave to someone that has let you in front of them in traffic?

I don’t want to beat a dead horse, we all have had the guilt trip laid on us about being thankful, but what I do want is just a different look at thanksgiving. A lot of us may feel that there is so much wrong with our lives, and I don’t want to be so arrogant to say that there isn’t, but I know that there are people around this world that have it much worse. I believe the institution of this holiday, warts and all, is true relief and gratitude for the survival that our forefathers had.

I hope you have a blessed thanksgiving. This is by far my favorite holiday because I do try to take time to feel the relief and gratitude. I find that I, too often, go through life without it.

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