Let me first begin by wishing you and your family a very happy Thanksgiving. We have so much to be thankful for, even as we are now in the midst of our ninth month of this pandemic.
Now, I know that for so many of us, this year’s Thanksgiving celebration is not going to be how we envisioned it. We won’t be able to sit around the table with family and friends like we did last year, or in year’s past. There is a stormy, black cloud hanging over the entire world that has prevented us from being able to live our lives the way we were so used to doing at the start of 2020. And with each passing day, we are getting closer and closer to returning to the way things were back in March and April, as our daily numbers continue to climb. In all likelihood, we will be returning back to the mandatory Safer at Home orders that will find us confined to our homes once again. Even toilet paper and other paper goods seem to be in short supply again.
I have to tell you that I am more than saddened about being back in this place again. I am upset that as a nation, we were not able to come together in ways we have in our past to rally around a cause and fight against this as one nation. Like many of you, I feel like I have done my part and question why I need to be “punished” for someone else’s deeds. Why should I have to suffer for other’s bad choices?
And yet, that is what it means to be part of a larger group, community, state, country, and citizen of the world. What this pandemic has shown us is how truly interwoven our world is with others. What happens in one part of the world, can and does impact us. If we take a step back, isn’t that a good thing? Shouldn’t we care more about others than ourselves? It was Hillel who said, “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, what am I? And if not now, when?” He does have a point. As a people, all of us have strayed not only from the true sense of what it means to be a global citizen but also from the responsibility that comes with it.
I hope that in the months and years to come, we keep this idea in mind and remember that our world should only be divided by the waters and distance that separate us, not because of the countries we inhabit.
Over the next couple of days leading up to and during Thanksgiving, I would encourage all of us to take some time to think about and appreciate all that we have. Things could be so much worse.
Again, I hope you and your family have a very special Thanksgiving.