• mariokiefer

2020 Thanksgiving

At first blush, many might wonder what 2020 brought for which we might be thankful. The promise of a new decade was left unfulfilled as more discord and strife gripped a nation already reeling from same.

In January, the nation was in the throes of a presidential impeachment. So much, in fact, that we did not see the signs of the coming pandemic that hit our shores shortly thereafter. As this “novel” virus infected more and more people, our leaders struggled with an appropriate response. By March, the government ordered a “two-week lockdown” meant to stop the spread of the virus. Two weeks turned into eight months during which, in one form or another, that lockdown persisted. Many were left without work; and our children, whose education was suspect before, received an even more inadequate one.

We closed our businesses. We closed our libraries. We closed our schools.

By June, the nation was in the throes of protest. While some proclaimed those protests “peaceful”, the fires and broken storefronts belied that assertion. Half of the nation argued with the other half. People died. Buildings burned. And, like Nero, our politicians fiddled.

We closed our minds.

In August and September, the general election began in earnest. Each side of the political aisle took great pains to politicize the pandemic to their advantage. Politicians pointed their fingers at the other and declared: “You are to blame!” And, the American people took sides crying out, “If you are not with me, you are against me!” Neighbor turned against neighbor; friend against friend; brother against brother. The very fabric of our society was seemingly rent asunder.

We closed our hearts.

But despite all of this, I still believe there are things for which we should give thanks and I am thankful that I still believe that.

I am thankful that I woke this morning to the sun streaming down on my open eyes.

I am thankful that I will hear the laughter of children at play carried on the wind through my open window.

I am thankful that, while I mourn those I have lost, there are still those I love with whom I will share this day with an open heart.

I am thankful because, despite all that we have closed, my door remains open.

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