Wednesday, November 21, 2012

RIPPLE EFFECT: How Thanksgiving Has Progressed, and Why It's Not All That Bad


"Thanksgiving is celebrating the death of hundreds of people-- the slaughter of Indians. It was not the making of friendships, but the violence of overtaking to succeed." -Unknown

Many have spoken about the political-incorrectness of Thanksgiving, a holiday dedicated to the English coming to America and making peace with the Indians so that they might share a land together--the land that is now so many of ours. We learn this at a young age, and as we grow older, we learn of the small pox-- the death. But, is that what Thanksgiving is really about? 

When you ask friends what they are doing for Thanksgiving the key words you will here are "Family" and "Friends." With technology, college, work and globalization, people become more and more estranged from each other. At this point, Thanksgiving truly is a giving of thanks: for a holiday like Thanksgiving as an excuse to bring everyone together. Thanksgiving is now a reminder for people to appreciate those around them. Thanksgiving has been adapted. You hear Thanksgiving associated with football, now, more than you might with Native Americans. 

It sounds rather odd that people are celebrating by watching football and rejoining family, and they are celebrating the deaths of so many innocents, bombarded by the Trojan horse of colonization. But, you have to ask yourself: what are we really celebrating now? We are celebrating the beginning of  our life in America. This holiday no longer seems to connect to the deeper past, but moves to the immediate one. What do I have to be thankful for now, since I was born? Sure, football, the excessive of food, the need for faux leaves when there are so many real ones outside, and the now more personalized approach to a holiday that once included an entire history reflects a consumerist market, because many of us live in one. But, when you get down to it? Thanksgiving has morphed into a beautiful holiday: simply the magnetic bringing together of loved ones. 

Negative news sells. There is always a way to shed a darker light on a matter. And, of course there are so many tragedies to bow our heads. But, it is important to choose our battles wisely. And, Thanksgiving? Just step back-- remember the blood it cost for you to enjoy yourself now and be sorrowful--pray, wish, love, apologize, whatever makes you feel better. And then? Look at your family and friends, and realize that this holiday is not about the pilgrims any longer. Thanks to an ever-changing, "modernizing" society? It's about you and your family, whoever that might be. 

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Women in the World and the Ripple Effect Section, Sasha Martin:

I made my own major, The Nature of Emotion as investigated through literature, psychology, anthropology, cognitive science and other interdisciplinary fields, and am minoring in Creative Writing. I created Unleashed for the general empowerment and knowledge of women and men everywhere, and continue to be involved as editor, designer and writer. I am an editorial and PR intern for City Lights. I happen to love the Unleashed staff quite dearly, as well as readers like you. It's amazing what words can do! Feel free to email me at Unleashed. I hope you enjoy!   

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