Thanksgiving’s This Week….

So, what can be said about Thanksgiving that has not already been said?  …Not to any particular group, but to a more or less standard collection of people from near and far or some such thing.  If the audience is children, alien people who have never heard of it, a bunch in church or maybe a bunch in a bar, an individual unique (or not) and others for whom someone might devise a “special” approach, it is not so much a question to mull over.  To throw something out to the wind, one must assume some things, like assume there’s at least sketchy knowledge of the founding story, understanding of thankfulness and maybe a willingness to re-hear some things. 

This year it seems there’s something to be said.  What is making the news these days, both national and local (maybe not all local but those that tend to follow national leads), is the way in which Thanksgiving is being overrun by businesses, irreverent consumers and confused pack followers.  What’s in the news is that people are shopping like mad before Thanksgiving is over.  It does not make sense that it would be actual Christmas shopping, although that’s supposedly the idea, without a rank misunderstanding of that holiday.  To a great extent the “giving thanks” presumes a sort of generalized deity and Christmas is very much about a specific one. 

Granted, some people think they are owed everything they get.  Granted, said persons may also be most seriously concerned about doing as cheaply as possible the social interaction of the gift-giving and partying connected to Christmas.  One might however guess some of those Thanksgiving purchases are really for personal use rather than a thoughtfulness toward anyone else.  (Now, that would be more logical.)  In either case, it is good to know that some elements of the general public think the idea of not giving due respect to one of the few real national holidays is a terrible thing.  It is hoped that there is enough commercial backlash to stop the erosion. 

Getting priorities straight is very important.. 

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New And Better Cities?

There’s no reason for law-abiding, responsible citizens to be afraid of the government as a rule.  That may not be or may not have been the case in hundreds of places in an assortment of times past and present; but, in principle, that is the case in the here and now.   If there’s a problem there’s supposed to be a thing called ”chain of command,” a way of approaching things that is proper (or so the kindly professor said very long ago in another place).  One goes to the person responsible for something.  If that doesn’t solve the matter, one goes to his/her supervisor.  If that doesn’t work, one goes farther above that one.  After the end of the line, one goes to the people. 

Recent (and past) news reports of governmental wrongdoing aside, a day or so ago a random click on a local government site caused a decided sense of fear.  It was a live report by the city housing department.  The man said that nearly a thousand buildings in a listing for demolition had been destroyed.  At ten to twenty houses per square block (or thereabouts), a thousand isn’t an overwhelming amount in a city of some size; it is a relative thing.  And, the government taking over a piece of property to legally raze it is not that easy to do.  The properties should have been derelict real estate, maybe even seriously hazardous to health and safety. 

What was scary about it was not just that the city had the power to do it, but that it was done.  The man had a dirty job, like an executioner (tear down a part of a city where he and thousands of other people lived leaving useless emptiness).  He seemed to act as if to say, “Well, you wanted it done, so there it is.”  It was done on governmental orders.  They came from somewhere.  Presumably  his staff decided what went and what didn’t.  The city government isn’t the only entity that has been demolishing a few things, but the city is a higher power than other entities.  It was like, hey, he really did not want to be doing it, but the powers that be ordered it.  (That’s guesswork.) 

What makes a city is the people in it.    

Current Events –The Disabled

The big topic of the week (at present) is Veterans’ Day.  Although it was yesterday and now is forgotten by many, actually such matters can be discussed at any time.  Mostly, it seems that people do not really go into much any longer.  They take time to put on a few ceremonies; but, that’s about it.  Well, to begin with here, first of all there are three kinds of veterans, the able-bodied, the disabled by military service and those that died in it.  Memorial Day does take special note of those that died.  Veterans’ Day is meant for all veterans, but it would seem to be a most opportune time to take stock of various things regarding the disabled.

There are organizations for disabled veterans, but that’s beside the point here.  Those with disabilities (regardless of how they happened) can often do many things, but that is most often with added effort.  There are also many things they cannot do which a lot of people do not really fathom.  Given a wheelchair situation, for example, it is possible a problem exists with going through a door, but dealing with such is rather ordinary.  The person in the wheelchair is quite adept at handling a lot of it; there’s not much need for helpful souls to rush around the person to open the door.  Other things like hanging a picture on the wall are not everyday events; help is needed. 

Simple things like curb cuts and entrance ramps do make it possible for the disabled to get around, but not if they are ill-designed.  The local library was surely designed by an architect that didn’t comprehend such things.  Although the building wasn’t old, recently the entrance was rebuilt with better design.  The ramps were too steep to be safe.  They were all right if someone walked them.  It was an unnecessary cost brought on because society does not know how to accommodate anything beyond able-bodied adults.  The medical discoveries save more and more lives; more people will not be be able-bodied adults even without a war to create disabilities. 

The new world order will not be what some expect. 

November

It’s the sad time in the northlands when the powers of nature moment by moment say that these or those shall die away, whether the living wish it so or not.  Human beings and maybe others among the living solemnly recall those who have left this existence of three dimensions both currently and as far back as memories can recall.  No need exists for extensive dwelling on the matter.  It is more like a pause as the power of life stops to take look back at what was.  The harvest is in except for a few remnants.  The night falls early and the wind blows colder.  In some places the hard frost has already come.  In some there’s still time to tie up loose ends. 

As the days pass, new leaders may be chosen or old ones declared acceptable.  The heroes both past and present will be honored.  And, the thoughts of the survivors turn to gathering with others in united effort first to give thanks to the unseen powers given the right to determine especially at this time a foundation for the future.  As previously, that will be in whatever way life sees a pathway to go, until those powers of nature are again set in motion to change the drift of life.  More than ever it is the protected, strong ones that will be left to see about that future.  The time at hand’s a short one this time, as the last days have little power. 

It is the quiet time, the time for reflection and sometimes tears.  It’s the time to accept the frailties of all that is around.  It’s also a time to remember there were better times, not really long before, and existence has returned to the like over and over again.  It is reasonable to expect that it will do so again, so one can reasonably hope it’s better at some time ahead — not tomorrow or next week, but at some mystic time beyond that, when greater light graces the horizon.  Until then, it will be hope that carries the living to the next moment in time.  Until then there will be a stillness in the soul as well that essentially is a wonderful moment of rest. 

Time is both friend and enemy.