We are not grateful that we have privilege while others are oppressed in a myriad of ways. We are grateful, instead, that we have the ability and the power to resist oppression and together, gradually, to dismantle the systems of injustice in our societies.
We are not grateful that we have a sufficiency or an abundance while others are in need. Rather, we are grateful that we have the capacity for compassion, the ability to redistribute from where there is more than enough to those who experience lack. And we are grateful for the intelligence that makes possible the understanding of systems, allowing us to work together to shape society so that excess and want are ever rarer.
We are not grateful for gluttony in the name of feasting, unbalanced diet in the name of sustenance, minds dulled by excess and technology and entertainment that take us away from those who have gathered together. But we are grateful for those who have prepared good food, for those who raised the crops and humanely tended the animals, for those who drove the trucks and worked in the markets, for all the infinite number of hands that had a part in making our festive meal possible and enjoyable.
We are not grateful for joy and pleasure that excludes others. No! We are grateful for the human capacity to draw the circle larger and larger again and again, to become increasingly inclusive, to model the Divine, the Holy Universe which encompasses us all.
O, G!d, may we enjoy our food and drink in the gladness of good company. May we share what we have with others. And may we never lose track of our highest values in a world that needs them more than ever.
Ameyn. Blessed Be. Om Shantí Shantí Shantí.