By David K. Shipler
Thanksgiving is the best of American holidays. It is either religious or secular, depending on your preference. It is unburdened by materialism and free from jingoistic patriotism. It celebrates neither war nor triumph. It is not a day of mourning or grievance. It does not merely turn a page on the calendar but prompts a turning inward in reflection. The only true indulgence is the elixir of good food, best observed in our closest circles of family and friends.
Only there, for those of us who have that safe place of intimacy, does giving thanks come easily this year. If we have good health, good love, good friendships—if we have enough money to sustain us comfortably, work that we enjoy, lives that educate us constantly—gratitude flows clearly. Our act of thanksgiving is about the present, and the past that has led to our bounty.
We cannot give thanks for the larger world. Let us hope that next Thanksgiving we can, at least in some measure. I would wish then to be grateful--
*for the decency of my fellow Americans, who snuffed out the hateful bigotry and bluster of Donald Trump and his mob of followers, overcoming them at the polls to retain our nation’s purpose and ideals.