I figure since the Thanksgiving holiday in the U.S. is a good three months behind us, what better time to refer to it in a blog post?
You know how we get on Thanksgiving day, where we make jokes about hollow legs and eye size disproportionate to stomach size and all that? We sit at the dinner table with 61 serving platters of various dinner items, enough starch content to drive all the dry cleaners in Poughkeepsie out of business, gravy the thickness of aircraft carrier paint playing duck duck goose with every item on your dinner plate, the Jayne Mansfield of turkeys beckoning you with its syringe of tryptophan in its crispy wingtip waiting to plunge it into your plaque-filled corroded carotid artery.
Sounds kind of unappealing on a cold Monday morning in February, doesn’t it? Yet on the fourth Thursday in November we find ourselves inspired by the cheerleaders of team gluttony in their seam strained skirts chanting “More! More! More!” until we find ourselves attempting to make the exhausting ten foot march from table to recliner in the fashion of Templeton during the fair scene in Charlotte’s Web.
Yes, I know. You couldn’t possibly eat another bite of my Thanksgiving analogy, so I’ll get to the point. When we become overindulgently self-serving, when we gorge ourselves on fulfilling our personal desires at the exclusion of others, we can find ourselves immobilized by the acquisitions of our avarice. We become driven by a fear of potential lack so we begin to acquire and hoard. We feel entitled to gain and gain to the point that the stockpiles we have acquired block us from being able to get to the exit of our storeroom.
When we find we have reached a point in our lives, even figuratively, where we feel immobilized, where we seemingly incapable of making any forward progress, it is time to be of service to our neighbor and fellow human being. During those times when we feel stuck we often experience the compulsion to become self-indulgent, perhaps from fear of having to go without, finding ourselves wedged into our own situation, believing all good things might fall outside of our reach.
We are no cornucopia in and of ourselves. Attempting to create movement and direction in our lives by feeding the insatiable hunger of a suffering ego will only further scorch the ground beneath our feet, only deepening the hole in which we stand. We need to offer our talents and gifts in service to our sisters and brothers of this world. What we give always returns to us tenfold, in some form of fulfillment, material or spiritual, and will in turn move us forward in our lives, carried by the gratitude and hearts of the inhabitants that share this world with us.