Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thanksgiving, 2021

Happy Thanksgiving!

I've been writing this blog since 2006, and some of you - masochists that you are - have been reading it for almost all of that time. You've learned many things about me over the years, one of which is that Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday. In a crazy world in which we too often focus on fear and negativity* and the material things in life, it's good to have a day on which to sit back and reflect on the things for which we can be truly thankful.

We’re living in a scary time in which it’s easy to be distracted from things for which we can be thankful, because there is so much going on that is awful, and so many people who keep relentlessly reminding us of it. For me, this year the awful things included:

A political party that has weaponized fear and hatred, which accepts - and, indeed, praises and amplifies - the most coarse, violent, and angry discourse, and which works tirelessly to undermine a political system it cannot win in a fair contest of ideas and policies;

The continuing horror of realizing that many Americans continue to accept frequent mass murder - even of little children - as an acceptable price to pay for the unrestricted "right to keep and bear arms;" and

A pandemic that drags on and on, largely because ignorant fools conflate the responsibility for public health with unacceptable limits on their “freedom;”

A badly flawed legal system in which the degree of available justice is directly related to one’s skin color, political connections, and ability to pay astronomical legal fees far in excess of what ordinary people can afford; and,

A changing climate that is denied by those unwilling to see the truth around them.

That all sounds pretty bad, and it is, but on the whole, though, it’s actually been a pretty good year for ol’ Bilbo. Although there have been many negatives, I have to consider myself a lucky man for a lot of reasons:

Surviving the pandemic for another year; 

The patient and long-suffering love of a beautiful and endlessly talented wife, who is still with me thanks to the skill and dedication of the doctors and nurses who saved her life this past weekend;

Three loving and successful children of whom I am justly and endlessly proud;

Six adorable, intelligent, talented, and loving grandchildren;

A large and loving extended family;

A comfortable retirement**;

A roof over my head***;

Good health;

Good friends;

The good fortune to be able to live in the United States of America - a country which, for all its faults, gives me the opportunity to enjoy all of the above;

The ability to write what I wish in this space without worrying about government censorship††; and,

The ability to enjoy the good things of the world that would be denied by those whose harsh and intolerant worship of a jealous, angry, and politicized God ignores the beauty and possibilities of the present in favor of rigid belief in a single religion and an imagined paradise in an unknowable future.

I have many things to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving Day, and it's only proper that I should take a few minutes to acknowledge that I am, as ever, most richly blessed.

I wish all of you, Dear Readers, Friends, the very happiest and safest of holidays, even if it must be limited by the measures we need to survive a deadly disease.

Have a good day. Give thanks for the good things you have and the bad things you don't. And stay out of the stores tomorrow ... you'll thank me.

More thoughts tomorrow, when we offer a new collection of Great Moments in Editing and Signage.


* Yes, GOP, I'm talking to you.

** So far, anyhow.

*** As long as we keep up the payments.

† Unless the GOP regains power, succeeds in gutting Medicare, and continues its efforts to eliminate the ACA with no coherent idea of how to protect the health of Americans.

†† Yet. Given the GOP's attitude toward the First Amendment (as opposed to its undying love of the Second), I'm keeping my fingers crossed.


John A Hill said...

Happy Thanksgiving, Bill.
Blessings to you, Agnes, and your entire clan.

Mike said...

HTG. And how is Agnes doing? Any bypass or stents yet?

Bilbo said...

John - Thanks!
Mike - I'll PM you.