We all know the mythology of Thanksgiving. A large group of people fled their homeland and landed in Massachusetts where local natives welcomed them. The natives and the Pilgrims made a bountiful feast and everyone was grateful.
This year as we celebrate Thanksgiving I feel we forgot what the holiday is really about, helping others in need.
The United States is the wealthiest country in the world and yet nearly 50% of our population is living in poverty. There is absolutely something wrong when more than 1-in-5 children are not sure when their next meal will be.
Many of these families cannot afford to purchase a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. For low-wage workers it would take a full eight-hours of work to pay for a traditional meal.
Are you willing to give up a full days pay for one meal if that would meant you have to give up three meals later in the week?
Now we have millions of women and children from around the world being forced to flee their war-torn homelands in hope of finding a safe place to raise their family. As the wealthiest nation in the world what is our response to these women and children? Sorry you’re not welcome here. Go seek help somewhere else.
Here is the thing; these women and children are fleeing their homes trying to get away from the terrorists who have taken over. The same terrorists that strike fear in the hearts of millions, thousands of miles away. Nobody wants extremists threatening their safety, whether they live in Syria or Syracuse.
After the recent attacks in Paris people are afraid. They are afraid that if we bring refugees here, terrorists will somehow slip through the cracks and destroy us.
Just in case you did not already know I am going tell you again. To become a refugee in the US takes 18-24 months of screening by the US government and international coalitions.
Even after the attacks in Paris, the President of France said he would bring in even more refugees. That is what strong leaders do. They do not run and hide while millions are suffering.
Some people have told me, “we need to take care of our homeless Veterans before we bring in any more refugees.” It is obscene the number of Veterans who are living on the streets and we as a nation must do better to help them. That being said, that does not mean that we should be turning away refugees. We are the wealthiest nation in the world and we can absolutely do both.
After you have eaten all you can, start planning what you can do to help others tomorrow. You can donate blood with the American Red Cross. You can take a truckload of food to the local food bank. You can go to the local homeless shelter and help serve food to the hundreds of people who are living on the streets.
As long as you get up and do something to help your fellow man you will find the real meaning of Thanksgiving. Be kind to strangers who look different than you, talk different than you, and need your help.
Before you go to dinner with your family, here are a couple of tips to talk about some of the major issues you are bound to come across this year.