Talking turkey

When your (not at all) humble servant was a wee boy living in the Pacific Rim, he was a Cub Scout and then a Boy Scout. (This was back in the days before the BSA was neutered by the politically correct lunacy that has infected it today; as a result, I actually know how to use a pocketknife and a hatchet properly without running and hiding behind mummy's skirt.) Because our Pack was led by an American mum, I got acquainted with the annual excuse to eat way too much food called Thanksgiving very early on in life.

Back then, I thought that the whole "give thanks and share food with those guys in funny feather hats" thing was just an amusing and enjoyable tradition. It wasn't until I came to America that I participated in a real Thanksgiving. And it wasn't until I did a bit of growing up over the last few years (read: became a libertarian, became a God-fearing man, stopped believing the lies I'd been raised with, etc.) that I came to understand the real point of Thanksgiving.

Thanksgiving is not about consumerist spending. Thanksgiving is not about some mildly absurd founding myth of a nation. Thanksgiving is not an excuse to show off one's culinary skills. It might sound weird to say this, but it's not even a holiday that I particularly enjoy. To be specific, I don't enjoy the baggage that comes with it. Most years, I go out to my aunt's place to have dinner with her, and like 20 other people, none of whom I know or particularly care for. Getting out there is an ordeal and a half; getting back is worse. Fortunately, the journey isn't the point of Thanksgiving either.

Thanksgiving is, and has always been, about taking a moment to reflect upon what is still good and green in this world, and being thankful to the Lord for the gifts that He has given us. And if you think about it, there is, even now, even today, much to be thankful for.

This day, I am thankful for:
  • My family and the continued blessing of their presence in my life. I may not be the best son or brother. I do what I can under the guiding lights of my father on Earth and the Holy Father above. Even when I stumble or fail in my obligations, though, I take great comfort in the knowledge that they are still here with me.
  • My health and the tremendous dividends that two years of powerlifting are paying off now. I am, by any objective measure, very strong for someone my size and age. And the good news is, over the next decade or so, if I stay injury-free and continue to train hard, I should be able to maintain that strength for the rest of my life. Despite the nagging injuries in my left shoulder, my right trapezius, and various minor hip flexor and not-so-minor lower back strains, I'm still capable of lifting vigourously and easily. Discipline and strength go together, and once you realise the tremendous gains to be had from lifting hard and heavy, you'll never go back to the bad old days of lame gym workouts again.
  • The great blessing of my mind and intelligence. This might sound extremely arrogant to many- because it is. To me, however, there is no shame in being thankful for being smart and for being able to use that intelligence. I am not, to be sure, that smart- Vox would make me look like the village idiot in pretty short order, and I imagine that several readers of this blog would be able to do the same. My mind, however, is what gives me the ability to do things that those around me cannot, and for that, I am grateful.
  • This blog and its readership. It's been not quite a year since I started up this place. It's been a fun ride since then. I am admittedly not very good at maintaining the momentum of the posts- part of the reason why the last couple of weeks have been full of mostly fluff, for instance, is because I just haven't been disciplined about posting. Yet when I do find the time to write, I find it an absorbing and enjoyable activity. I blog from personal interest, not because it will make me rich (my opinions are too far from the mainstream and my posts are too infrequent).
  • Beautiful, feminine women who know how to make a man feel better simply by virtue of their presence. Preferably in skimpy outfits.
  • The accumulated wisdom of the M(A)ndrosphere. There is a lot of great work by a lot of great men available today for free on the Interwebz for any man with the will and the mind to improve himself. From hard PUA blogs like Halfbreed's place, to more general game-oriented joints like Rollo's and Roissy's and Roosh's, to total-improvement blogs like D&P and B&D, to somewhat more cerebral blogs like Vox's and Badger's (and mine, to some extent), we are all of us united in the belief that Mankind has lost something vital and precious, and we seek now to restore that knowledge and wisdom. I'd say we're all doing a pretty damn good job so far.
  • The blessings and wisdom of our Divine Maker. When I look at the course that my life has taken, I cannot help but feel that the Lord, however distant and unknowable He might be, does have a Purpose in mind for me. I just don't know what it is yet. I am deeply grateful to Him for His mercy and the blessings that He has given me, and that include the maturity and wisdom to understand some aspect of the Divine, no matter how small. Once you know and understand some small piece of the Lord, you immediately understand what I say when I argue that life without God is empty and meaningless.
This Thanksgiving, be grateful for that which is good and green in your life. Give thanks to those who deserve it. And live your life with a purpose, to live long and to be of service to your people. May God bless you today.

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