Thanksgiving 2022

Posted on November 23, 2022


Life in the Boomer Lane believes the US could easily change its flag to the representation of a gun with the words “Thoughts and Prayers” underneath. This sort of covers everything. In a relatively short number of years, we have become an outlier among peer countries in the violence we perpetrate.

There are many reasons for this, and all are valid to look at. We cite the increasing availability of guns, and then do nothing to curb that increase. We cite mental illness and then defund programs provide give mental health services. We refer to violent video games and films and then continue to make millions on their creation and use. We read of unfounded conspiracy theories that demonize people who have done nothing at all, yet we promote the social media platforms that gives them a voice. The list goes on and on.

Politically, the years from 2016-2020, sent a message that was loud and clear: If you are a loyal American, it is your right and duty to express your anger (in whatever for you choose) to those who would threaten you. Immigrants, politicians, teachers, mask wearers, gays, fellow students/co-workers/team members, it didn’t matter. All were fair game in the newly-sanctioned American pastime of violent expression of one’s beliefs.

Authoritarian societies love hatred, and they love violence. Once people are encouraged to hate others, once people become used to violence in their lives, once they see violence as an acceptable way to vent their frustrations, they ask no questions when a government uses violence against their fellow citizens.

This year, in honor of Thanksgiving, we have experienced a rash of mass murders, leading up to a day that is touted as one of gratitude, family, and a focus on unlimited amounts of food. None of the murdered people will experience Thanksgiving this year. None of the murdered people will get to use their skills and their passions to positively affect the lives of those around them. None of the murdered people will ever create families to carry on traditions. The loss of each will continue on throughout the decades to come.

LBL, because of her accident, will not be celebrating Thanksgiving with family. She will, however, be beyond grateful that her children and grandchildren will all be together, creating their own unique whirlwind of gratitude and mayhem. LBL and Now Husband, will be at the home of dear friends around the corner. This will have been her first Thanksgiving since grad school, spent without family. Her gratitude will include, as it always does, family, friends, health, and the good fortune of the bounty spread before her. And each year, as always, there will also be an awareness of the countless lives ended needlessly, each life creating a small unravelling in the fabric of humanity. She will imagine, in a better world, each of them at their own Thanksgiving tables, experiencing the same joy she will be experiencing. And she will hope for a future in which this country realizes that every time we allow a gun to be pointed at another person in anger or fear or frustration, we diminish ourselves in a way from which we cannot recover.