Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving, that remarkable day again.. That interval when we overeat, overdrink… and have to unfasten our belt a notch or two to make it through the day.

Yes, we did it..

Well, this is not exactly true. Many people tend to forget that Thanksgiving is the day of “giving thanks” to all and everybody who gave us what we enjoy that day.

It is the time to be grateful for our most precious assets, namely Peace, Freedom, Health, Family, and Friends.

Peace always comes first. Without it nothing is possible. Peace is the true mother of happiness.

Freedom is a close second. Peace without freedom is a charade. Without freedom, there can be no peace, only a truce before the next inevitable conflict.

Then, it is difficult to manage without health. Health is the fuel that drives your machine. Your body needs to run smoothly to allow you to accomplish your goals.

Family. It is sometimes a mixed blessing, but still a blessing. Siblings (if you could choose them) can be a godsend. Truly blessed are the families that have a harmonious relationship.

Friends, the cherries to adorn your cake. Take everything I have but let me keep my friends; they are more precious than gold. Some people have lost everything in the recent forest fires, but that can be remedied. Losing all your friends would be a much worse alternative.

“Let us be grateful to people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” Marcel Proust

So, Thanksgiving is not really the day of “abbondanza” that some people imagine.  It is one of those days when you ought to spend acts of kindness without counting. When you feel grateful for everything that the three  Fates (Clotho, Lachesis and Atropos) allowed you to accomplish.

This day, don’t take, give.

“It is every man’s obligation to put back into the world at least the equivalent of what he takes out of it.”Albert Einstein

Happy “giving”to all.

Alain

The Un-promised Land

“Give me your tired, your poor, you huddled masses yearning to be free…”

 I am afraid that this is just a fading dream. Lady Liberty is tired and about to drop her torch. Her welcoming job has lost its allure and is turning into a high-pressure exercise.

A very large caravan of transients is presently trekking towards our southern border, bent on entering the United States peacefully or by force. These new pilgrims are looking for a better life in the US but are facing a harsh reality. The Promised Land of their dreams was just a mirage.

Nobody can enter the US (or any other country for that matter) without the proper papers. Especially not impoverished, uneducated masses that are bound to create a big financial burden for the host country.

What makes a difficult situation even worse is California’s present state of affairs. Large wildfires have destroyed up to 7500 homes leaving thousands of Americans homeless and jobless. These people need urgent attention and it is the responsibility of the American authorities to provide help and support.

The subsequent tab is going to be extremely heavy and this dire situation makes welcoming even a small group of migrants very improbable.

America cannot have open borders; it would set an unacceptable precedent. Impoverished hordes from every continent would rush to America to seek jobs and assistance.

Nobody likes to leave his or her native country. When you do, you become a somewhat vulnerable “foreigner”. If jobs were readily available at home, Central America denizens would gladly stay put and avoid the harshness and uncertainty of this long pilgrimage.

Immigration problems should be tackled at their roots, in their countries of origin. I am no expert in that matter, but I think that it might be cheaper for the United States to inject a few billions in foreign economies than to tackle the problem on its soil.

I seldom see eye to eye with POTUS, but ultimately I think that a wall might have to be built. It worked for the Chinese, the Incas, for Hadrian, for the Israelis… it might work for the US.

Alain

Obsession

Some people are obsessed. They are totally consumed by a single belief and cannot to let it go.

Hitler was obsessed by the Jews, that’s for sure. What did these rascals do to him? Sneer at his early paintings? Or did some wily Jewish chick reject his advances?

Moby Dick obsessed captain Ahab; a little over the top if you ask me.
Humbert Humbert lusted endlessly for prepubescent Lolita. A strong case of hebephilia!

A pesky “lying press” obsesses POTUS; why is every journalist so unfair to me? he laments.

Obsession is a cancer of the brain. It starts innocuously and if not treated in time it will metastasize with devastating consequences.

“Obsession is the single most wasteful human activity because with an obsession you keep coming back and back and back to the same question and never get an answer.” Norman Mailer

Obsessions are as varied as cockroaches. Some are health-related (hypochondria), some are political (neophobia) and some are rooted in religion (scrupulosity).

The religious obsession is by far the most disturbing. It regulates every part of its follower’s lives; they constantly worry about infringing or having anybody infringe the rules of their faith.

Religious freaks obsess that one might say or do something blasphemous; and it could be anything. Recently, Asia Bibi, a young Pakistani Christian woman was accused of such deed and sentenced to death.

“The Guardian. Retrieved 1 November 2018. Bibi’s alleged blasphemous comments were supposedly made after co-workers refused to share water that she had carried; they said it was unclean because she was a Christian (this is a hangover from the caste system, as most of those who converted to Christianity in pre-partition India were members of the lower castes).”

To disciples, the Afterlife seems to be more important than life itself. If you are a good boy/girl (if you blindly obey us), you will go to Paradise when you kick the bucket.

I have been a bad boy and this does not scare me. What frightens me is our Republic’s drift toward divisiveness and authoritarianism (strict obedience to authority at the expense of personal freedom.)
You might call this an obsession if you like.

 For my part my motto is: “vivre et laisser vivre” (live and let live).

Alain