An Urglaawe Thanksgiving Musing

I saw the post below (at the bottom of this commentary) on the Facebook status update of a friend. 

There are many truths inside this status. There are quite a few folks, many of whom I know personally, who are one missing paycheck away from losing their homes or cars, etc. These kinds of difficulties have many origins, including the current economy. Many aspects of these problems are beyond our immediate or even long-term control, and there are many people who need a hand up (not so much a handout) in order to get back on track. 

Some aspects are self-induced. We live in a culture that, for some odd reason, advances the chaotic force of rootlessness, encouraging people to shun totally any notion of being "too close to people" or having anyone "all up in my business." I can understand this to some degree, but, as a society, we are, to use an old expression, "throwing the baby out with the bath water." Akin to this rootlessness is the utter Blitzkrieg of Black Friday, which is now undermining one of major "connection" holidays of the year with the implied promise of satisfaction being achieved through going shopping. From the Urglaawe perspective, these forms of rootlessness are to be shunned because they destroy the very fabric of our social order. 

There are, of course, plenty of people going through grief, loss, or physical challenges that make the holidays rougher. Some of these are temporary conditions; others are chronic problems that are the largest challenges. Each individual has a responsibility to work through these problems and to attempt not to be defined by them. The wider community has a responsibility to recognize the existence of attempts to surmount these problems and to be supportive towards those who experienced recent challenges and towards those who are working hard to change their own definition of themselves in the face of adversity. 

This comment is meant neither to "rain on the parade" or to urge everyone to be more appreciative of their life situation. Instead, it is meant as a reminder that we all have a role in changing our society's mindset from rootlessness to a sense of cooperative interdependence from a premise of appropriate compassion coupled with personal responsibility. This may be a utopian pipe dream, but there are no rules that say all dreams have to be small or easy. 

------ Quoted text below ------ 

 FOR any of my friends who may be alone: It's important to remember that not everyone is surrounded by large wonderful families. Some of us have problems during the holidays and sometimes are overcome with great sadness when we remember the loved ones who are not with us. And, many people have no one to spend these times with and are besieged by loneliness. We all need caring thoughts and loving prayer right now. If I don't see your name, I'll understand. May I ask my friends wherever you might be, to kindly copy, paste, and share this status for one hour to give a moment of support to all those who have family problems, health struggles, job issues, worries of any kind and just need to know that someone cares. Do it for all of us, for nobody is immune. I hope to see this on the walls of all my friends just for moral support. I know some will! I did it for a friend and you can too! (You have to copy & paste this one, no sharing.)


Sei Limit

The original Deitsch cartoon most likely appeared in Der Reading Adler sometime in the 1880's. The cartoon was one among quite a few that appear in John Joseph Stoudt's Sunbonnets and Shoofly Pies: A Pennsylvania Dutch Cultural History (New York: Castle Books, 1973, p. 229).