Monday, December 2, 2013

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving

Happy U.S. Thanksgiving!

I know,I know, I'm a few days late.  I've been busy, so cut me some slack.  We started our week last week as a group - all of us traveled from our respective locations to Coyoacan in Mexico City where we spent a few days at the Lutheran Center for our retreat.  The focus was globalization and it's effects indifferent countries.  Undoubtedly all six of us have seen the effects of globalization in Mexico, whether as a part of its economy or how it affects the people here.

One of the things I'm reminded of is that globalization doesn't always refer to giant corporations acting globally.  Sometimes it just refers to the fact that aim able to call home on a U.S. holiday from miles away or that I am able to receive packages from there.

But in many ways, it does refer to corporations.  It refers to exploitation.  It refers to being trapped in poverty.  So on this Thanksgiving, I encourage you all to be thankful for what you have.  You can afford to be in a heated house in parts of the country where it is cold.  You have access to food in many forms and can choose what you eat and when you will eat it.  You can travel to other parts do the country to see relatives quickly and without too much hassle.  And you can do all of these things knowing that you will be safe.

In Spanish, the term for Thanksgiving is 'el accion de gracias' - the action of thanks.  Yet for many, what follows Thanksgiving is anything but.  It's hard for me to imagine Black Friday, Cyber Monday, or any of the sort as an action of thanks.  It's hard for me to imagine that attitude as being indicative of any type of thankfulness.

So here's my challenge to you.  Being thankful is nice and all but if that's all it is, it doesn't really say much.  So between now and Christmas, which gives you just about a month, do something you normally wouldn't do.  Try going a day without something you would normally have.  If you want an easy challenge, go without Facebook, a certain food, TV, or a hobby.  If you're up for a little more difficulty, go without the internet at all, talking to friends except in person, or your cell phone.  If you really want a challenge, try doing without your car, turn your heat down to 55, or try using only 10 gallons of water the whole day.  I realize that this may all sound ridiculous, but it's not actually that far-fetched here.  Many people here do it every single day.

So that's my challenge to you.  No one is going to force you to do it, but if you do, I'd love to hear your feedback about how it went.  Most of all, realize that there are many things to be thankful for in your life, even things that you normally take for granted.

Happy Thanksgiving and Feliz Navidad

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