Monday, November 29, 2010

4 Days after T-Day: 2 Cents from an Undercaffeinated Soul

Although I don't love the history of Thanksgiving--what with the Pilgrims handing out blankets with a heaping side o' smallpox as a pre-cursor to the eventual land-snatching done against my AmerIndian homies--I deeply respect the notion of being grateful for the blessings we've been given in life. Though the majority of blessings we have are as obvious as the First Lady of Cameroon's love of Simba-esque aesthetics, some are as subtle as Tommy Menino's homage to Bob Dylan's speech.

With that in mind, I'd like to honour some of the obvious and subtle blessings in my life:

I am grateful for my family, especially my beautiful momma, who taught me how to love unconditionally. This karaoke-addicted, fried fish-preferring, sack o' rice-hoarding, Gil Grisson-crushing, pink-loving, curly-haired woman is the breath in my lungs. She has the ability to strike fear into my heart by dropping hints that she'd like to have a talkative grandchild now, but nothing evokes the feeling of safety and being loved more than one of her hugs.

I am grateful for old friends who knew me during my cheesetastic Power Ranger fanfic writing days and still love me anyway, and for new friends who allow me to use them as guinea pigs in one of my cooking experiments. Nothing else quite proves I'm there for you, I accept you as you are, and I love you than your best friend declaring out of the blue that they love your tomatoey nose or your friend hunting down elusive Anzer honey because of its health benefits. When you have friends who call, text, or Facebook poke you no matter how far you are or how busy your lives are, you know they're for keeps.

I am grateful that I not only found intellectual fulfillment at university, but learned how to be a kinder human being who can effect social change. For this, I can never tire of thanking D, B, M, and S. They teach and they advise, and are some of the best in their field, yet remain humble and continually engage in a genuine dialogue. They also have good taste, judging from the fact that they gave me an A.

I am grateful for mobile phone companies that offer unlimited (long-distance) calling, text messaging, and web browsing. Without them I'd be more broke than Toni Braxton.

I am grateful for cute kittens and fat babies. Whenever I get frustrated with people (especially the male variety), videos or photos of cute cats and fat babies never fail to cheer me up. Those, and watching a video of Ibrahim Tatlises and his mustache singing.

I am grateful that despite a painful history of physical/cultural/linguistic genocide, boarding schools, poverty, alcoholism, religious intolerance, and a high rate of violence perpetuated against Native women, hope still lives among AmerIndians and Hawaiians. We still have a long way to go to reclaim the pride we had in ourselves before the missionaries and conquerors Macarena'd their way into our home, but not punishing the sons for the sins of their ancestors is a huge step. Forgiveness is a powerful step out of the shadow of victimhood.

I am grateful for love, because it is the most powerful choice there is. In the words of a people who can never vanish, I say to you all: Gv-ge-yu-hi. Do-da-ga-g hv-i.

I love you. Until we all meet again.

Be kind to one another.

No comments:

We must never permit the voice of humanity
within us to be silenced. It is Man's sympathy with all creatures that first makes him a Man.

--Albert Schweitzer

Everything can be taken from a man or a woman but one thing: the last of human freedoms to choose one's attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one's own way.

--Viktor E. Frankl