"The bald eagle...is a bird of bad moral character; like those among men who live by sharping and robbing, he is generally poor, and often very lousy.
"The turkey is a much more respectable bird and withal a true original native of America."
Old Benjamin Franklin lost out to the Bald Eagle in his battle to make the Turkey the Official National Bird. But if Old Ben were around today he would see that America has elected the Turkey to represent who we really are.
The turkey is a bird that loves to strut its' stuff, especially the males. The turkey insists on walking when flying would do nicely and the turkey in mass is willing to gobble up gossip and repeat it, regardless of who's listening.
Indeed, the turkey is quite a bird.
A Bowing 747 weighs 252 tons and costs 250 million dollars.
A turkey weighs 28 pounds and costs a dollar a pound average.
Let's talk turkey.
Americans ate 750,000 tons of turkey for Thanksgiving last year.
Americans paid 4.7 billion dollars for turkey on Thanksgiving.
That's like eating 3,000 Boeing 747's and paying for eighteen.
Gobble. Gobble. Gobble. Gobble.
Every Third Thursday in the Month of November is set aside for us in America to slow down and take stock of all our many blessings. It is a day to remember, a day to be grateful, a day to give thanks.
And there are those who would change this and call it Turkey Day.
Now, let's really talk Turkey.
33% of America is obese, overweight, fat and ungrateful.
Compared to the rest of the world we are wealthy and rich.
We turn on one of three or four or five faucets in our homes and clean, clear drinkable water comes out. There are other people in the world who walk over a mile to wait in line for hours to fill a five liter plastic jug or tin can with cloudy, amoeba filled water.
We flush the toilet and our waste disappears.There are other people in the world who stumble over open ditches stagnant with other people's waste.
We flip a switch and a light comes on. There are twenty or thirty or forty switches in our homes. There are other people in the world who follow darkness to sleep and the only thing they will switch is at the mosquitoes bringing malaria and sleeping sickness.
We jump in the car and cuss the four blocks we have to drive to Seven-Eleven for a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, a gallon of milk, a rice crispy treat, an ice-cream sandwich or a can of caviar cat food. There are other people in the world dying as you read these words. These other people would think they had died and gone to heaven if they could swallow but one bite of what your cat snubs away.
The Other People are Us.
The Thanksgiving tradition was born from people who were appreciative for what they had, humbled to be alive and grateful to find themselves in a country rich in resources, pregnant with potential.
Too many of us have forgotten. Maybe we've never known but I do know that we don't think about things the right way anymore.
Let's not be the turkey we're about to eat.
Only in humble gratitude will we understand that we don't have to eat so much.
Only by giving thanks do we acknowledge something greater than us exists.
Only by sharing with others will we ever take stock of ourselves and slim down our consumptive fear; the fear of not having enough.
And thank God, we have enough.
We have enough to share.
As you cut into the turkey this Thursday let the knife carve the fat out of your living. Let your architecture so shine.
Happy Thanks in Giving