Happy Reflection Day

Since my late teens, I've always struggled with Thanksgiving. I'm simply unable to observe the holiday without thinking about the slaughter of Native Americans, and this state of mind doesn't exactly lend itself to being joyous about anything.

In the modern day of course, it seems Thanksgiving is as much about shopping as it is about anything else. The reason Thanksgiving is even on the fourth Thursday in November (instead of the last as was tradition since Lincoln) is because President Roosevelt was concerned that if the holiday shopping season was delayed by a week it would further cripple the economy during the great depression. It's as if the holiday has become one big national reminder that we're a bunch of consumers. Again, not exactly something to be joyous about.

I suppose the problem I have isn't taking time to be thankful, but doing so without reflecting on how we got what we're thankful for.

I can't help but wonder, what would be different if my ancestors tried to learn more from Native Americans instead of murder them? What would our country look like if we hadn't felt the need to conquer half a continent? What would be different if we had more respect for the land?

So this time of year, in addition to identifying what I'm thankful for, I also like to reflect so that I can determine whether I'm on the right path. I like to identify the things that went well so I can repeat them, and determine what I did incorrectly in the hope that I can avoid the same mistakes.

In addition to giving thanks, I think it's healthy to take the time to reflect.

Happy Reflection Day.