Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Here we are at Thanksgiving eve.  Even more so than in previous years, so much of the emphasis seems to be focused almost entirely on shopping.  Target's ads provide some of the best worst examples.

Thanksgiving itself has become just the starter's gun to a huge shopping spree.  This year the stores can barely restrain themselves to the day after Thanksgiving with many chains planning to open Thursday at midnight,  Some Target employees are making an effort (likely to be futile) to fight back against such an early opening time.  Many of them will barely be able to finish their Thanksgiving dinner before they have to leave for work!

Every year at the holiday season many of us dish out, in addition to bountiful banquets of food, a full serving of platitudes about the true meaning of the season.  This year we have the Occupy movement pointing out the vast disparities between the 99% and 1% emphasizing some of the most glaring inequities in our society.  Many more in the country believe they have much less to be thankful for than they did a year or two or three ago and, no doubt, that's true -- especially if we're measuring wealth and income.

But I was reminded of how much we have to be thankful for (and the value of perspective) when listening to one of NPR's weekly Science Friday broadcast items last week.  The topic was "Building a Better Toilet".  Did you know that more than one-third of the earth's population does not have a toilet.  That's more than 2.3 billion people.  Think about that!  Think about what your life would be like if you didn't have a toilet.  And then think again about what we have to be thankful for.

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