Thanksgiving Day is a uniquely American experience. Its traditions remain strong in an age of Monday night football and pumpkin spice lattes. It is a day of overindulgence, a precedence to Black Friday, an evening with the family — beloved or otherwise — and most importantly, an opportunity for reconciliation.
This past year has lent itself to a lot of struggle and division that seemed to be inescapable. As the COVID-19 pandemic rages on, it continues to show the best and worst of people. Human’s awesome level of resilience and capacity for benevolence shined along with the selfishness and pettiness seen so depressingly often.
We’ve pushed through tense international conflicts, endured an insanely stressful presidential election and mourned the tragically innumerable loss of Black lives. Suffice to say, this year’s holidays may end up feeling tenser than usual.
That’s why it’s important to reconcile with those who we may feel we’ve lost in the last couple of months, whether you have distance or differing views to thank for that. Now may be a good time to remember that if you’re feeling alone, your friends and relatives might be too, and there’s nothing wrong with reaching out or finding common ground.
We realize that not everyone is living under the same circumstances. Here at PantherNOW, we’re proud to have a diverse staff spanning different backgrounds, nationalities and identities. For each of us, the holiday represents something different, whether it be a symbol of the American dream, a reminder to give back, or a time to reflect on family, friends and tradition. Some might be excited to get cooking with their relatives, while others remain isolated, settling for takeout instead.
But no matter your experience with the holiday, we think it’s safe to say that it’s time to heal and put those painful days of the past behind us. It’s time to start embracing one another for the sake of those who’ll come after us. So much more can be done when all our differences are put aside for once. What better time to start than now?
As one of our columnists well stated, “it can feel like there is very little to be thankful for in 2020… but there is hope.”
Today, take a moment to think about what other people have gone through, and try to feel what they feel. Consider what they went through and understand where they’re coming from. Instead of scowling at them, greet them with a smile. It doesn’t take much effort to bring out the best version of people.
With that, we wish everyone a happy Turkey Day!