You know, Thanksgiving is one of the few holidays with the dubious distinction of being both joyous for some and depressing for others at the same time. How is this, you ask? Well, it's really very simple.
The majority of people are happy to get together with their families, overjoyed at seeing relatives they haven't seen in months or even years, all crowded 'round a table full of wonderful food and good spirits. For a time, all the problems of life seem to magically disappear, if not just for that brief moment of bliss.
All the issues we have in life seem to back off and let us live life for a moment: we aren't thinking about how hard we need to sell that advertising account to our new client, we aren't thinking about whether the new server's still running properly, we aren't thinking about the budget crunch which has cut our operating budget by 25%, we aren't thinking about finishing the remodeling job on the master bathroom, we aren't thinking about what the kids want for Christmas. All our cares drift away, and for one brief moment, life seems liveable.
Unfortunately, some never see that moment of bliss. You know who I'm speaking of. Those who struggle to get by day after day, those who live their lives from week to week based purely on how much money their pitiful paychecks rake in. Those who are a world away from their families and friends and who may be financially affluent but live a hermit's life. Those who have neither friends, family, or money. Those who must live each day wondering where their next meal will come from. Those who must live with that emptiness in their hearts that only a good friend can fill. Those that must worry not about what they're going to wear to dinner that evening, but whether they (and in many cases, their children too) are going to even have dinner.
As we sit down at our tables and feast upon the fruits of our labor, stop for a moment and think about those who work their fingers to the bone and see little, if any return for their labors. Think of those who may have no one to share those fruits with. Think of those who have nothing to share and must depend on the goodwill of others to help them make it through the day.
The phrase "random acts of kindness" is particularly apropos here: even if all you do is give someone a kind word and a pat on the back, that little boost may be all they need to survive - to realize that someone, somewhere, does care. Too often we get caught up in the hustle and bustle of the world and we rarely, if ever, stop and think about the ramifications of our actions on others. Who are we hurting with our actions? Who are we helping? Are we thinking of the general goodwill and success of others, or are we seeking only self-gratification? Are we doing something good because it's the right thing to do or because we seek recognition for our deeds?
Are we being good people, or are we merely being people?
Ah, the journal. The perennial window into the mind's eye of the writer.
Not much for a first entry, is it?
My recent difficulties in my classes are really beginning to come to a head - my senior recital preview is Friday, and on Saturday I play for the dedication of the new dome on the Capitol building in Oklahoma City, then on Sunday I have church band, followed by brass band, followed by a friend's senior recital I need to go see. Needless to say, I'm a tad busy. I don't know how I manage to find time to add little bits of things to the Open Source Cookbook project I've been working on for the last 5 months. Submissions have slowed to a stop, which is good and bad at the same time.
Right about now I wish that we were on the "27-hour days" that the folks from Men in Black are on.
<whine>I JUST WANT MY DEGREE!</whine>
Oh well, I'll get around to teaching in the real world soon enough. I'd better take the idealist climate of college while I can get it.
"Probably the best operating system in the world is the [operating system] made for the PDP-11 by Bell Laboratories." - Ted Nelson, October 1977