Thanksgiving is a time to count your blessings. One of my blessings is family and for that reason Thanksgiving was my favorite holiday growing up. My four brothers were significantly older than me (you might say I was a mistake) and were off with their own families on Christmas. But on Thanksgiving the whole family was gathered together at our house, the same house I live in today.
Usually the entries on The Middle Class Forum reveal Systems out of Balance. Today I would like to go over the blessings we have that, along with an empirical approach to knowledge, can help restore balance to the system. The next few days there will be a little holiday break as I retool a few things on this web site. Then from next week until the end of the year I will be focusing more on cultural and natural themes affecting the middle class.
Let us be thankful for:
Community – From the lyrics of “American Dream:” “I’ve traveled down many roads and trails; met wonderful people, have some wonderful tales to tell, of people who care, who share their homes.” When people’s attentions are not being channeled by their special interests we have a tremendous capacity to open up to each other and provide mutual support. As a long distance backpacker I have seen how true this is even in regards to complete strangers. Let us appreciate our natural altruism without vanity.
Liberty – From the lyrics of “American Dream:” “The plumber and the lawyer, one and all, gathering as equals in the meeting hall, with respect. Together they decide what is wise for all.” Our federal and state governments may leave much to be desired with their paternal and party democracies, but as we draw closer to home we have systems of government that reflect true democracy. Citizens exercise their equal liberty to voice their true opinions independently of authoritarians, parties and corporate media. Let us appreciate the beauty of true democracy without cynicism.
Diversity – From the lyrics of “American Dream:” “With every kind of race, every kind of creed, every kind of job, what more do you need? Variety is the spice of our lives my friend.” We are arguably the most diverse nation in the world. Let us appreciate our pluralism without apprehension.
These three blessings provide us a fourth. In Systems out of Balance I provide a definition of advancing civilization that avoids the tautological thinking of equating being more advanced with being less primitive. “Primitive” cultures became increasingly diverse as they spanned the globe, but they were isolated. One of the important ingredients of civilization was commerce and contact that drew diverse cultures together. My definition of an advanced civilization is one that can maintain the harmony of an early social band with the integrated diversity of modern society. Community among diversity, pursued through liberty, is the mark of an advanced civilization. As much as corporate media is presenting an obstacle to all these ingredients, we remain among the most advanced of all civilizations past and present.
Let us give thanks today for community, liberty and diversity.