Wednesday, November 26, 2008
For my American family and friends, it is almost Thanksgiving. While you all sit and eat your turkey and mashed potatoes, watch the game or the parade we will be working here in Asia. But, I am actually in Korea for work and will be taking my Thursday off (at least part of the day) to do something different. This is my second trip to Korea and this time I plan to visit the DMZ.
Why you may ask? Well, because it is there, it is iconic, because it is one of the only reminders of the cold war left. It is a country that is still divided by a civil war that has not yet ended after 50 years. While the battles have stopped, there has never been a peace accord. Over 50 years later and the American presence in Korea still exists. A fence and a two mile strip of land divides a land. One part of the country has prospered, become successful and the other has not. On one side of the fence people (most at least) have the ability to feed themselves and their families. The other side the people have faced years of near starvation due to political and economic restrictions and sanctions. One side of the fence has department stores filled with the best branded goods and luxury items money can buy. The other side of the fence the only luxury goods are those owned by the dictator. I want to see this strip of land.
See where, but for the luck of the draw, that my soul could have been born to a family who would love me no less than my own parents do, but one in which my life would have been very different. I would not have had the opportunities I have been given, I would not be sitting here drinking a Starbucks Latte and typing on a blog that is for sure.
So, a thought today, as you sit down getting ready for a feast of food which I can assure you I miss, think about those who are without. Think about those who don't have the luxury of a whole turkey or ham. Think of those for whom a bowl of rice would be a blessing. Think about the fact that perhaps you don't need to serve a 15 pound turkey, a huge bowl of candied yams, a big plate of stuffing, a bowl of mash potatoes and gravy along with deserts, cakes cookies and pies, all for your family of 4. Would it not be better to think about the waste and cook a simple meal or would it not be better to place some food into the hands of people who need it more than you? Would it not be better to celebrate the reasons for Thanksgiving rather than gluttony? I will be.
This year I plan on doing two things different. First, we will be cooking a small turkey for our small family, we will be having our normal dinner with one starch and one veggie and perhaps a small pie for desert. NOT a lavish spread. We will tell the story of the Pilgrims and we will also start a new tradition in our house. Giving Thanks, really giving thanks. I will thank God, I will thank my family, I will thank my husband and my helper. I will thank my children for giving me the best life ever and I will be thankful for all I have.
I also plan on giving away. Thanksgiving is also the time of year that the kids start going through their old toys and giving away those items they no longer play with to those who can use them. I also will be baking a loaf and giving away a loaf and an apron to a family (or two) that may appreciate them or need them.
Giving back, giving thanks. Thanksgiving y'all.