"In these pages many mysteries are hinted at.
What if you come to understand one of them?"

"Words let water from an unseen, infinite ocean
Come into this place as energy for the dying and even the dead."

"Bored onlookers, but with such Light in our eyes!
As we read this book, the jewel-lights intensify."

- Rumi

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Black Thanksgiving

I've got a list of blog posts sitting there in my Microsoft OneNote file, just waiting around to get written. I've even sat down to crank one of them out, but I keep looking at the response I received from my last post, that I've really been wondering what I could possibly write to follow that up with. Over the past few days I've noticed a lot of hype over a day that is becoming notorious in American culture, and so I'm going to write on the juxtaposition of and irony surrounding Thanksgiving and Black Friday.

Let's start with Thanksgiving. Wait... Let's start with a brief note on holidays in general. Every holiday in the world has two foundations: the truth behind the holiday (which can be very challenging to find) and the spirit behind the holiday.

Some claim that the foundation of Thanksgiving as a national American holiday stems from a political maneuver be Abraham Lincoln toward the end of the civil war. I've heard and seen posts on various websites about how it is a celebration of the subjugation of the Native American peoples by the Puritans. (I am pleased to see other people claiming to be of Native American descent telling these people to, "Shut up and stuff yo face with turkey.") We can argue about these and other ideas on where Thanksgiving started. I'd rather talk about the spirit of what Thanksgiving is. Thanksgiving celebrates a bountiful harvest so that the Pilgrims who landed on Plymouth rock wouldn't starve to death over the winter. It's a time when we come together with friends and family and celebrate the blessings we have in our lives.

Then we have BLACK FRIDAY! the first day after Thanksgiving where most of America is transitioning to the Christmas Season, we have the most brutal shopping day of the year. And no, I don't want to get into a religious discussion about the nature and history of the Christmas Holiday. To me it's about "Peace on Earth and goodwill toward men." If you can't get on board with that, no matter you religious, philosophical, and spiritual beliefs, we can't really continue that conversation can we?

I had a bunch of stuff that I was going to say about Black Friday, but I think I can sum it up with this. As of yesterday afternoon, people in Sacramento, CA were starting to camp out in front of Best Buy stores, to spend their Thanksgiving alone, in the rain, just to get the first shot at Black Friday sales. Do I really need to say anything else? Besides, I'd rather focus on this day rather than worry about tomorrow.

Between last Thanksgiving and this one, I have so many things to be thankful for that I couldn't possibly hope to list them all so I'll pick the one I'm most thankful for:

I'm thankful for my fans, both at my storytelling shows and of my books. I'm living a dream, a dream I've had since I was in third grade. You are the measure of my success, and I am humbled by your response to my shows and my books. You are the reason I am an Amazon bestseller, and that three of my books hit the #1 spots on Smashwords.com in three different categories at the same time. I'll never be able to thank you enough.

I can't wait to see where this next year takes us.

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