I don’t normally post things on holidays or anniversaries. I figure, there are plenty of other folks doing that, no need for me to join the fray.
But today, I wanted to for two reasons:
- I saw some silly statement that alluded atheists have nothing to be thankful for because we don’t have a god to thank, and
- Emmie’s post on the Jewish Holocaust and the Syrian refugees.
The first is just dumbfounding.
Honestly, I can’t think of what the folks who are spreading this around are thinking.
Thanksgiving, to me, is one of the more secular of the holidays. As I understand it, the day is set aside to be thankful for the things in your life.
I give thanks to my husband for supporting me in all my endeavors. I give thanks to my dog, who has been my constant companion for the past sixteen years. I give thanks to my mother for being there when I need her to offer advice and acceptance. I give thanks to my clients and co-workers for putting up with me.
And I give thanks to you – for taking the time to read my blog. Thank you!
How can I not be thankful? There are many people in my life deserving of my gratitude. And on this day, I offer them a special, and most sincere, thank you.
The second concerns Emmie Mear’s post titled “History Teaches Those Willing to Listen“. Published earlier this week, there’s a lot in that post to unpack. Pour yourself a glass of wine and get ready for a long post. But please, go read it. I’ll wait.
It has taken me some time to internalize Emmie’s post. At first, I thought Emmie was being a little much. I mean, most of her post is about her experiences visiting Poland. Granted, I’ve never visited that country nor have I seen Auschwitz, Majdanek, or Birkenau, so I don’t know how places like that can affect a person. But to correlate the Jewish Holocaust, one of the most appalling chapters in world history, to the current plight of the Syrian refugees (another appalling chapter, but really not quite on the same scale) might be a little bit…over-reactionary?
I’ve followed the Syrian catastrophe for some time. Earlier this year, when Google made an effort to gather support for the refugees. I did my part by donating what I could. At the time, it seemed like a no brainer. I give money to support a lot of terrible events that happen around the world, this didn’t seem all that different. I figured, once we all became aware of the problem, surely, something would be done.
But the Syrian conflict, like most things, is a lot more complicated than that. As the months went by, the fighting intensified. And as the relentless bombing continues, it is clear that many Syrians will never be able to go home.
Because it is no longer there.
Like the displaced persons of World War II (included Armenians, Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Estonians, Yugoslavs, Jews, Greeks, Russians, Ukrainians, and Czechoslovaks), the Syrians refugees find themselves at the mercy of the world. Will we help them? Or turn our backs on them as we did in the 1940s?
In this time of thanks, and honestly, gluttony, take a moment to think of the folks in this world who do not have much to be thankful for; who’ve been forced from their homes and are unable to find a country or place that will keep them safe. Be thankful you are not them.
Until next time, thank you.