Thanks! Thanks! We Don't Need No Stinkin' Thanks!
It's the day after Thanksgiving and the world is returning to normal. The shopping malls are stuffed tighter than Dick Cheney's belly after a campaign trail rubber chicken meal. Hackers are busily back at work propagating the latest version of digital hell. Even Karl and Scooter are still on the hot seat. In short, it's back to a normal Friday.
That's the thing about Peace on Earth holidays like Thanksgiving, Christmas, Hanukkah, et al. No matter how much thanks you've been giving, the harsh reality of a new day torn asunder by war, disaster, and greed always returns right on schedule.
We're sure the more optimistic of you will stop and give thanks for this new day. But us, we're a little less profligate in how much thanks we toss about. We're less about thanks and more about, how the hell did we get into this handbasket and why are we going there? Some might say this is a glass half empty observation, while terminal optimists would say it's a glass half full. We prefer to think of it as a half a glass outlook - one that simply states a reality instead of twisting it to please ourselves.
One of the reasons we fell out of the religious fold of our youth was an observation about the several congregations to which we belonged - all too often the congregants came to church to feel good rather than to do good. For a great many, simply showing up, making the right noises, and thanking Jesus at the end of the service was enough. They could go home and be the same asshats they were the other six days of the week, but do it with a clear conscience.
Quite often, the secular folks were no better. Many of them spent their time making money with little thought about how what they did affected others. They felt it was perfectly OK to lecture workers about necessary layoffs and sharing the pain, but only after making sure they had their own jobs, pensions, and bonuses secure. Fell some trees, dig a pit, poison some water? That was OK as long as they got theirs up front - in cash or easily convertible stocks. They are living, walking proof that religion isn't the only refuge of maladjusted, there are plenty of them in corporate suites around the world too.
So what do you do to keep from sinking in the pit along with them? How do you do something and feel good about it while staying honest and true to yourself? Where should you apply your "thanks"?
Here's what we recommend:
Be thankful you have a mind, and then use it. Whether you think some omnipotent being - don't look at us - endowed you with it or some prehistoric lizard morphed it into you, or you just sprouted up in the bathroom mildew overnight, give thanks that you have it. It's an essential tool and the only thing that stands between you and the just plain "tools". And for that, you can be truly thankful.
Truth Told by Omnipotent Poobah, Friday, November 25, 2005