I prefer my turkey smothered in cranberry sauce, rather than gravy, which I save for a perfectly formed gully in my small mound of mashed potatoes. Black olives that once fit on the tips of my childish fingers continue to accompany my filled plate. Aside from all of the fixins, my masterful pumpkin pie with its famous secret ingredient continues to cap off a great feast where memories are shared.
But this year is a bit different due to many undesirable changes. Who would have thought that politicians, the media and social media influencers would alter the course of our culture in 2020 as they leveraged the numerous and significant events we faced?
I was raised to never make life-altering decisions during a crisis. The reason was to avoid empowering the negative event to determine an outcome. However, sometimes we are forced to make significant decisions at inopportune times.
Thankfully, we can look back on history for a filter that helps us sort through the barrage of false information to decide an outcome based on who we are as a people, rather than being sucked into the latest impromptu force or power group supported by a biased media.
Thanksgiving is a great time to reset our filter to the core principles of who we are as a people. Those who came over on the Mayflower knew exactly what their joint goal was and reduced it to writing with the crafting of the Mayflower Compact—the predecessor to our Constitution. Their “why” in life was clear as they had undertaken the “…voyage to plant the first colony…” for the “…Glory of God, and advancements of the Christian faith…”
The religious freedom of the people was at the forefront of their actions. They were a desperate people who wanted all men to have and cherish their God-given rights. They desired equal laws based on morals, not the latest trends or political movements. And, it was all for the general good of the colony, not individual people groups that rise in popularity from time to time.
Their words stated, “…solemnly and mutually, in the presence of God, and one another; (we) covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil body politic; for our better ordering, and preservation and furtherance of the ends aforesaid; and by virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal laws, ordinances, acts, constitutions, and offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the general good of the colony…”
So this Thanksgiving, I once again used the filter set by our forefathers to determine what I can do as an individual on behalf of my community. My local answer has been to help others learn how to speak their peace and share their passions online. I have encouraged and taught many how to come across in a professional manner so their words are given due consideration.
In my attempts to offer encouragement, I was amazed at how few people wanted to improve their online communication skills. I’m pretty sure their lack of desire comes from a dwindling confidence in speaking up for what’s right, especially in the middle of cultural change that forces self-preservation—after all, many have lost jobs when those objecting to an opinion, twist their views into an evil attack against society.
It takes courage to speak against those who blur the lines between privilege and entitlement, and focus on the individual instead of what’s best for the general good of all people. It’s much easier to stay quiet and hope the social media bully picks on someone else, a person who we can provide empathy.
However, those that created our heritage didn’t sit idly by, but instead gave up their comforts in life to pursue the most honorable activity of all—battled for the good of all in their community.
During this Thanksgiving Day weekend, please consider what you can do locally to help those in need and see to the freedom of everyone’s religious beliefs and spoken opinions. For this practice shall certainly strengthen our God-given rights, for which we are all thankful.
Happy Thanksgiving, friends!
© 2020 by CJ Powers