Thanksgiving is a time to reflect, a time to unwind, a time to count our blessings. Thanksgiving 2016 is much more than this, however. It is also a time to plan, a time to evaluate, a time to be ready for nearly anything.
Barataria believes that an astute lectovore, one who devours all information, can and should make predictions about the future. Not necessarily precise predictions but at least an assignment of boundaries. If we learned anything in 2016 it’s that there are sometimes no boundaries at all.
The longstanding prediction that 2017 is the Year Everything Changes, in a good way, is now up for review. It presumed nothing too stupid would happen – and it’s not yet clear that anything particularly stupid will happen. But it might.
For example, the proposed privatization of Medicare has the potential to produce a tremendous amount of upheaval. When people lose their health insurance everything in the economy will indeed be up for grab. Consumer spending is likely to fall and fear is likely to grip the nation.
Similarly, the legitimacy of a Trump presidency after losing the popular vote by over 2 million means that large scale protests are indeed possible. If the government was shut down by a very intense series of protests simultaneously nationwide just about anything might follow. It might effectively shut down an economy already wracked by doubt and fear.
Things really could get much worse.
Where does that leave us on Thanksgiving? In limbo, largely. This is still the wealthiest nation on earth by just about any measure, but it is also the greediest. No matter what slice of the pie people have there are far too many who always seem to want more. It’s as if the only lesson we have from Thanksgiving is gluttony, not brotherhood or gratitude or any of the higher values which actually made this nation great in the first place.
Where do we go from here? It’s hard to say. We have to be ready for anything. What I can tell you is that gratitude is not expressed by words but by actions. Much will fall on all of us in the coming years to always be our very best.
Please practice gratitude as a central value. Live life on purpose. There are many ways to take that statement, and I mean all of them.
Our future is still very much in our hands. It’s up to all of us.