By Hakim Abdul-Ali
Around this time of the year during every November in the United States of America, families gather together on the fourth Thursday to celebrate what has become known traditionally as Thanksgiving Day. It’s an annual public and festive occurrence that brings much joy and happiness to many ethnic citizenry of our potentially proud nation.
Whenever I sit down to digest what the pureness of this holiday means, and I guess what it’s supposed to mean, I’m reflecting upon it with a somewhat different attitude than most casual celebrants. I’m feeling this way because I’m deeply thinking about and spiritually looking at what the holiday symbolizes to me and, maybe, to some others in this storied land of freedom and democracy.
I’m really looking at this annual happening as an event that really, in reality, should be an everyday reflection where we all should have to pause for acknowledging the omnipresent need to constantly to say to each other that we must “give Thanks” (to God Alone) for us being here doing what we’re presently doing. That’s a must in my way of thinking God Alone loving beings.
And (&), I also must self-check myself in never forgetting that the “Giving” process is also a must do part of my and your “hue-man” realities, no matter whether some other abstract-minded ethnic “colored” know it or not. That can never be overstated, especially in these chaotic times of personal financial hardships, inner societal depressions and family problematic torments for so many in our nation’s and the world’s afflicted populations, so we all need to heed the call to help each other.
I know that as I write, many people will not be in stable, homey atmospheres with loving family and caring friends to savor the turkey, pumpkin pie, cranberry sauce, and other delicious food goodies that some others maybe able to enjoy on so-called Thanksgiving Day. For those who are fortunate enough to be able to experience and share the delights and festivities of such joyful gatherings with loved ones and friends, may the Most High Alone continue to reward and bless them all for being in such elevated spaces and to be with such cherished folk and loved ones.
With all of that being said, I still would like to add a little spice to this timely observances by saying and reminding you, me and everyone else that everyday in the living process is a day for showing sincere appreciation. This way of extolling “thanks” should be a constant laudable expression to the Creator Alone on all days of the year and not just on one seminal day of the calendar year. Think on that point.
Everyday is one where “Thanks & Giving” should be observed and practiced during all of the days of our lives. We should do this with a peacefully loving nature in always keeping the “giving” spirit alive in our collective hearts, souls and minds, and say humbly, “All praises are due to the Creator Alone for everything that comes our way, in and under all circumstances.”
I have to inform you of this because there are many homeless and hungry souls in this divided land we call America who are destitute and are in need of much assistance. Do you know anyone like this in your orbits? As you read on and, hopefully, reflect upon, I’d like you to think about your present situation or circumstances in life and try to assess what it is that you feel you need to extend “thanks” for & to “give” homage to. It’s a personal inquiry, but it’s not a tricky one, especially if you’re spiritually connected to God Alone. I’d like to assume that you are spiritually secure and what I’m putting before your thinking auras right now is not lost on deaf ears. So, if you take a stone cold moment to realize how privileged you are to just be here in the here and now, isn’t that “An Occasion for Thanks & Giving?” It is for me. Please don’t just read through my inquiry of you about this important arena with listless attention and inattentive abandonment. I believe that if you take that pause that I asked of you to indulge in, you’ll see that life is a continuous challenge of the utmost concern for everyone in every global sector.
That’s why no matter what your nationality, family, religion, financial status, political affiliation, ethnicity or physical station in life may be, it’s paramount to recognize that the Creator Alone is but One. On this so-called Thanksgiving Day in our country, we mustn’t forget that the true spiritual symbolism behind this occasion is, and should (always) be, about “giving thanks” to God Alone for our family, friends and beloved others, and for allowing us to be here in our ever-present challenging arenas in life.
I have to put it to you in that parlance of “rapping” to you because, as I alluded to previously, we still live in a divided political and religious America where freedom, liberty and justice for all are realities of escapism for many communities of America, especially never losing sight, e.g., of what’s happening to the true Indian populace on the nation’s invisible reservations. So, as you devour your turkey and whatever else is on your plate, please remember that America is still a land where stealthy racism divides many of us and covert bigotry definitely exists on the mental food plates of many privileged political leaders, both locally and nationally, who are making a continued mess of running this nation’s affairs.
In saying this, I’m only speaking, in a part, for some of my and your forgotten Americans, who do not have the platform to remind you and others that not everything is hunky-dory for many of them. America’s oppressed and overlooked souls are still there during and after other 364 days of the year after Thanksgiving Day activities have blended into another year’s holiday afterthoughts. These souls are still creations of the Most High Alone and deserve respect, love and honor.
Listen carefully! Life is hard for many of our nation’s neglected inhabitants, and it appears that it’s not getting any better if you judge by the current political temperature. There’s some shady stuff going on, and I don’t care if you’re as rich as Bill Gates or you can’t find rub four quarters together to make a dollar, as some older Black folk of yesteryear would casually utter, we must realize that caring and sharing go hand and hand with being “thankful” for what you have in life and “giving” is a necessary part of being tested by God Alone to help others less fortunate. The tests from the Creator Alone are in not being neglectful of the fact that everyone, without creed, skin tone or whatever else may divides us, has value and merit. Everyone may need our help or assistance at one time or the other, and those realities are part of what challenges all of of us to help our fellow brothers and sisters who are desperately in need. Political and business leaders, are you listening? I hope that you are because America on a whole and many families in particular are hurting in more ways than one. Sufferings and disillusionments are everywhere in our nation, with many of those affected being on their last legs, so to speak. Pray for them.
Respectfully, I’d like you to really, really think of those American and international souls who are without many things that you or I may take for granted. I am, and that’s why I wrote “An Occasion for Thanks & Giving.” Help those less fortunate than yourself.
For today and always, that’s, “As I See It.”