Thursday, 24 November 2016
Thursday 24th Nov.
From the tip of the Shetland Isles, down past Inverness and Edinburgh, through Newcastle and Manchester, on via Wrexham and Norwich, down past Bournemouth and over Land's End on to the Scilly Isles the people are giving thanks for this is a day for thanksgiving! The people are raising their glasses, glasses filled with whisky or beer, wine or sherry, glasses of thanksgiving that they are citizens of the free world and not members of the United States! How glad we are to give thanks that today of all days, shortly after another absurd American election in which thanks to their daft political system in which the choice between two totally inept and unwanted politicians (I use that term carefully) means the one with less votes wins! Rejoice and give thanks! The one with less votes can win in the UK also but at least they are proper lying politicians (OK apart from David Cameron and Boris Johnson but you know what I mean).
Throughout Europe also thanks are offered on this day. In parts of Africa where their last knowledge of the US was a multinational company buying their small farms and merging them into one colossal money making enterprise, they too give thanks for democracy, the democracy that gave them then dictator if their choice. In Asia people look aghast at the States and wonder if the cheap plastic objects they manufacture by the million will find a home in Florida or Utah once Trump takes over. Ought they to return to gun making they enquire? Thanksgiving in South America continues as they realise how many ex-pat Yanks will wander nearby to obtain housing for at least four years, estate angents rejoice and give thanks heartily.
Yes indeed the Puritans fathers and the rest who settled the East coast (without asking permission from the locals) in the 1620's and onwards had reasons to give thanks after a three month journey across a wild ocean. Having survived malnutrition and savage Indians wanting rid of their immigrant newcomers these brave settlers rejoiced and gave thanks to God for the land he had given them (if indeed he had). This in between fighting amongst themselves while they civilised the new nation.
Why does the US have 'thanksgiving?' Do they really understand? It did indeed begin in the 1600's but probably not as it is known today. Certainly politicians have made use of it and there have been changes down the years and the majority do not truly follow the God they give thanks to in any case.
If they did the nation would be a great deal better off than it is now!
There again ought we to be giving thanks ourselves? The checkout lass told me off this morning for not being my usual happy self, it had been a confusing search for things moved from where they were last deposited and she was right! I ought to have been happy I could afford such luxuries (the Tories are planning to restrict my right to some of them next budget) and walk let alone girn that some things were not ready to hand.
There are so many reasons to give thanks.
I can walk when at one time that was thought probable that I may walk with difficulty, I can see, hear, feel and while age grows on me and stupidity is an inherited talent I am better gifted than some I see who cannot walk, see, think or move from the bed they were born in long years before!
My time in the NHS shows me many suffering today who will continue to suffer for the rest of their life, others who are lonely, and in many parts of the world relying on handouts from dubious aid agencies while they await war or famine end in their nation.
Many in the US wonder why they should give thanks for a poor health service, or a lack of opportunity in the 'land of the free,' others are trapped in slums whether white or black, Hispanic or any other kind of migrant. Many have bad families, terrible jobs and situations that trap them with no end in sight, thanksgiving? They find it hard. Let us who have something worthwhile give thanks to the Good Lord who has helped us, or at least speak to him again and seek his life which may well help us through our tough times.