For some, the holidays are a wonderful time to visit friends and make familial bonds stronger. For others, the holidays can be a minefield full of hurt feelings and contentious arguments. Some people are going to enter Thanksgiving with their battle gear on.
Though we understand what can go on when 20 members of an extended family get together, we’d like to remind everyone that
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks, to let bygones be bygones — even if it’s just for one day.
Last week, President Barack Obama was in Hawaii, where he was born. When asked a question about budget cuts, he said, “When I meet with world leaders, what’s striking — whether it’s in Europe or here in Asia …”
The president had a slip of the tongue and accidentally said, “here in Asia,” while he was standing on American soil. We imagined that he must have had Asia on his mind, as he would land in Indonesia later in the month. Also, he was in Hawaii for the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation meeting. And, maybe, he was just really tired that day because he has been doing so much?
Some were far less forgiving of the slip than we were. Some blog commenters angrily interpreted the misstatement as an example of Obama being under-educated or relying too much on a teleprompter. A minority has even put out the radical opinion that the statement meant that he doesn’t want to believe that he is an American.
To those commenters, we want to gently, and goodhumoredly, remind them that it’s Thanksgiving. Just as we put up with a relative we don’t like on this holiday, let’s forgive this slip from our president, even if it’s just for the holidays.
Let’s not put too much attention on the people who bother us, because it distracts us from all the good aspects of our country and of family gatherings. It’s time to say, “It’s OK,” and look past mistakes because there is nothing we can do to change what has happened in the past.
Instead, look at all the things people have done for you or your family and be thankful for the positive outcomes, rather than on the negative.
Also, remember to find some way to pay it forward. You can save your leftovers and share part of your meal with the homeless, for instance. Find some time to volunteer with the many great organizations in this city. (end)