Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Guy Who Hated Thanksgiving

You may think this is going to be some sort of parable or funny story from the title. No and no. On one of my first Thanksgivings in Florida my father and brother were out working shortly before dinner. Their work was towing vehicles, reselling or scrapping them, that sort of thing. They came back to the house obviously moved by something. They'd towed a car in a really poor part of town and talked to some people there, among them the guy who hated Thanksgiving.

He hated Thanksgiving, in fact he hated all holidays, because he was poor and couldn't give his family what they knew so many other families in the U.S. had. I'm not talking about a new X-Box here. I'm talking about food on the table.

I've got some extreme righty beliefs but what I have more of is extreme lefty beliefs (as well as some that fall into neither camp. I've got something to piss off everybody). Among other things, I believe a strong nation needs not only a strong military, but a population that's well fed, as healthy as possible and well educated. We seem to find unending supplies of money for only one of those things. Beyond the interests of national strength, though, there's basic human decency and the desire to ease a person's suffering.

I'm asking everyone who reads this to consider doing something to relieve hunger. If you want to do something on a grand scale, that's wonderful, but I know most of us don't. Tiny things done by many people work wonders as well. I'm not trying to guilt anyone. What I'm trying to say is many of us can give something small so as to not even feel the pain. So why not do it?

Donate a little something to a food charity. Five bucks. One buck. A can of food. Something you won't even feel, but something. Buy food for a homeless person you see on the street. Bake a little something for a neighbor who's seeing hard times. Go play Free Rice for a few minutes. Anything you can do, any little thing that will fill a belly for a few hours is one of the noblest things any one of us can do. And it really does make the world a better place.

Happy Thanksgiving Eve, everyone. I hope you have a fantastic holiday. And if you don't live in the U.S., just have a fantastic Thursday.


JLeuze said...

I'm with you on this Matt. I think regardless of your political views, if you've ever had to skip a meal or try to feed yourself with spare change, you can't help but sympathize with anyone in this situation.

And those who do lack sympathy should still just do the math, three squares is a lot cheaper than treating some poorly fed person at the ER for some common sickness a healthier person could have avoided.

I really like Heifer, they seem to do a good job of helping people all over the world that need it most. Whenever we have extra money around the holidays we try to buy a little livestock, cause every kid should have a goat right? ;)

Elke said...

You're both good guys. Hope you had a good holiday each.

Adding a holiday story: One of the bosses in my building is old school, the elder statesman of the office. He gave all his employees a turkey for the holiday. He included me even though I don't work for him. He knows he makes more than everyone else and he believes that should make him generous. My holiday plans were sewn up pretty well already and had no room for a turkey, but there is a church right down the street that did a question-free feast for anyone who wanted to come. He was generous with me, enabling me to be generous to people neither of us know but could very well meet.

BTW: nanowrimo has eaten my life, this is merely an escaping gas bubble, but it's better than when I let work swallow me. right?

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...


NaNoWriMo is indeed a devourer of lives but it's time well spent in the grand scheme.

Thanks for your Thanksgiving story. That was very kind of you.

Elke said...

Epilogue to my holiday story: my own boss gave me a box of truffles (the chocolate kind--box of freshly dug truffles nosed up by hogs, less of a treat in my book). I shared a couple with coworkers, but I kept that box. Still in my desk drawer for chocolate emergencies. Not everything gets shared even if I can spare it.

Matthew Sanborn Smith said...

That's okay. When it comes to chocolate, it's everyone for him or her self.