Giving Thanks (Popping My Head Up for Thanksgiving)  

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F
1008 posts
11/24/2005 1:06 pm

Last Read:
3/5/2006 9:27 pm

Giving Thanks (Popping My Head Up for Thanksgiving)

Thursday, November 24, 2005. Thanksgiving.

Today, I woke up thankful that I had the choice of staying in bed or moving my ass off the sheets. No work today. And, today’s the day in our country when many of us reflect about what we’re thankful for. Isn’t it ironic that this day is based on a party with the very race that was virtually wiped out to take this awesome land with its vast resources? I bet that race is not very thankful today. Alas, another story..

Here’s what I thought about as I rolled over in my soft warm bed, feeling that bliss of knowing I could sleep all day if I wanted to:

· I don’t have to worry about the water I’m going to drink, wash my body with, or wash my clothes with. I can just turn a knob and get all the water I need. And if I turn the knob on the left, the water is hot. I can throw my clothes in a machine and push some buttons and they get clean and dry. I don’t have to make soap, carry water or chop wood.

· I don’t have to worry about where I’m gonna pee or take a shit. I can push a button when I’m done and it all goes away.

· I am sheltered from the elements. When it gets dark, I can push buttons and get light. When it gets cold, I can push a button and make it warm. Hell, I don’t even have to push a button; it will all happen automatically when the temperature in my shelter goes below my comfort zone.

· There will be a LOT of food to eat today. As a matter of fact, there will be so much food to eat today that millions of tons will go into garbage dumps and down drains.

· There will be a LOT to drink today. It will make me feel jolly and happy and open me and others up to communication.

· I have the use of all my body parts. I can walk without the aid of others or mechanical devices. Hell, I can run for miles, or strap some boards to my feet and have a blast defying gravity on the side of a snowy mountain. I can dip myself in the lovely water of our planet, move my legs and arms around, and skip across the water. I can get on a piece of metal with two wheels and explore this lovely place we call home.

· I can see. Not as well as I used to, but all the colors and shapes are there. And I can get little pieces of glass to look through to make things clearer. Hell, I can hire an expert to direct laser beams into my eyes and fix the warped parts so that I can see without the little pieces of glass, if I chose.

· I can hear. I don’t need any amplification devices in my ears to do so. I don’t have to learn a sign language to communicate.

· I can speak. Most of the world knows my language, so I don’t even have to take the time and energy to learn theirs (although I could if I chose).

· I can taste and smell. I can savor in the delights of the thousands of tastes and aromas that have been put here for me. I can get them in minutes.

· I can breathe, unobstructed.

· I can have sex (we’ll skip the appreciation of this for now).

· I have no diseases. My cells aren’t being eaten away by cancer or HIV or the thousands of other unseen bodily anomalies that constantly invade humans.

· I am not in physical pain. I don’t have to be medicated today to take away pain.

· I can think. Clearly. I don’t have to be medicated today to make my mind right enough emotionally or behaviorally so I can function in the world without being locked up.

· I can move about freely. I don’t have to worry about a regime’s lieutenants coming and taking my home, my family members or me away.

· I can speak my mind. I can criticize my leaders. I can express myself without fear of retribution and torture.

· No one is shooting at me today. No one is bombing my town. No one is me in a prison cell.

· I have enough to eat. So do my neighbors. I can walk a few steps, put a key into a motion device, and navigate it to thousands of destinations. One of those destinations is a place with everything I need to eat, in unbelievable abundance, for very little energy exchange (money). The supply of food never runs out. I can buy as much as I want, of anything, from 10 different places within a few miles of my comfortable, peaceful house. The food isn’t rationed, and there’s no line or fight or struggle to get it. I just pick it up, put it in a cart, pay for it, and it’s mine. All I want. Hell, I can even go to one of thousands of buildings, and people will prepare the food for me and serve the food to me.

· I can take this little thing in my hand, push a few buttons, and talk to my loved ones anywhere in the world in a matter of seconds.

· I can transform my thoughts into magnetic electronic bits and bytes of information, put them into a storage device, then transmit them to the minds of endless others anywhere in the world within seconds.

· I can receive volumes of information from anywhere on the planet, about just about anything, using this same method. On demand.

· My offspring are taken care of in this world. I pulled it off. We are all alive and happy.

· My relationships with friends are rich and deep and nurturing.

· Coffee. I can have coffee.

· And I could write a hundred pages more…

I thought about Kalil, a young man I met while working in Saudi Arabia. At the time, he was a janitor at one of the hospitals in Riyadh. I met him while donating platelets at $600 a session. He had been raised in a refugee camp in the Gaza strip. It took a long time to get him to open up to me. When he did, we talked, and over time became friends. When Kalil woke up in his tent on the last Thanksgiving day before the Saudis took him out of the refugee camp to be a janitor in Riyadh, his first thought was: I gotta take a shit. Where am I gonna do it? Oh yeah, that’s right, in a bucket, then bury it. Was I dreaming of the joy of a toilet last night? I’m thirsty. Is there water? I’ll go stand in the line with my jug. Damn, I haven’t had meat in weeks. I wonder what Fatma is doing right now, if she’s even alive. They carried her off last year, her price for being young and beautiful. My leaders constantly pound into my mind: “It’s THEIR fault. The Israelis and Americans and the Brits. THEY did it to you. Come with us, be a martyr, fight back.”

Eventually, I could actually get a sense of why someone would strap a bomb to himself and blow up things, himself included, or fly airplanes into skyscrapers. Do I condone these actions? Hell no. Can I accept them? No. Can I sympathize with him? Not really. Can I empathize and understand? Yes.

Then I thought about Ahmed, our “tea boy.” A Somalian who spoke seven languages. He was thrilled to be a tea boy in Saudi making $400 a month, sleeping in a hot shit hole every night. He could feed his entire family (a couple wives and trees of kids I think) in Somalia for that $400. Joyful, bouncing around, cleaning my desk and bringing me coffee. Running errands for the rich Saudis, Americans and Brits doing the computer work in this lush Saudi Air Force office building. He was certainly thankful. I thought about the $400 I spent the night before on two bottles of black market Johnny Walker Red. I gave Ahmed one. I thought he was gonna cry.

This made me think of something else. Funny how the mind wanders on a Thanksgiving morning while deciding whether or not to get out of bed.. I was on the East Coast a couple years back, with my daughter, driving around visiting Ivy League colleges so she could make up her mind about where she wanted to go this fall. She hadn’t been accepted to anywhere but NYU at the time, but things were looking good. On the way to Princeton in New Jersey, we were exiting one of the toll roads. I gave the booth operator my money, he gave me change, and I drove out of the toll lane. There were roads going in about five different directions, and I temporarily paused to make sure I was going the right way. The guy in the car behind me wasn’t happy with that hesitation. He was a big guy, wide shouldered (from what I could see), with a huge bald head, goatee and earrings. He wore an off-white pressed business casual polo shirt, and a mean scowl. Not a happy man… He was driving a new SUV of some sort. BEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEP! His head’s out the door, his finger’s in the air, he’s screaming, “you stupid mother fucker what the fuck are you doing! Learn how to drive you fucking asshole!! What the fuck are you doing?!?!?!” I swear, I saw veins popping out of his neck. BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! BEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEP! My rental car had Virginia plates, maybe that was the problem? My window was still open from paying the toll. I recoiled a bit, but was still focused enough to see where I need to go, and I veered to the right to hit the exit. The traffic was backed up, so we weren’t going anywhere anyway anytime soon. He pulls up beside me on the left and starts screaming again, this time through his passenger window and into my driver’s side window, trying to draw me into a battle with that middle finger and raging-bull torment. After the initial shock wore off, I looked over at him. I decided I was having no part of it, and blew him a kiss. That got him going even more, and I thought his head was gonna explode. My daughter started cracking up (she’s a fellow comedian in training, a chip off the old block). I really thought this guy was gonna follow us, but he eventually went on his way. After my daughter and I stopped laughing, we high-fived, and she said, “Wow, what was his problem?” I said, “Welcome to the East Coast.” We called him Neanderthal Man for the rest of the trip.

Anyway, I wonder if Neanderthal Man would be so angry if he had to worry about where his water was coming from today, or where he was gonna take a shit, or where his sister was. I doubt it.

I think about my current contract job gig, and I chuckle as I see the stress and issues and politics that people at all levels put themselves through. I think back about how caught up I was in all that for so many years. Working my ass off, kissing asses, getting degrees, moving up the chain, dressing for success, getting haircuts to match the boss’s. Days, nights, weekends. All to get more almighty dollars and more power over others to feed my ego. All so I could say, “look at me! I’m a success! Look at all the stuff I have!” It is so important to them, as it was to me. But not anymore. It’s funny, the people I work with now notice that I don’t get sucked in, and they don’t like it. They want me to play along too. My hair’s getting a bit longer, I’m gonna get my ear pierced again. I don’t conform to the dress code, and I don’t worry about getting to the office exactly on time or how long I take for lunch. Of course, I do awesome work as I’ve always done, and I actually have to “dumb down” sometimes so others don’t get insecure around me. Easy, smooth work. But, somehow, my whole perspective is changing. Some of the folks that work there think I just don’t care. Maybe I don’t. At least not in the same way they do. But they see the quality and quantity of what I produce and they keep me around.

I think about all the issues and problems people in our culture have. I know most of it can be eliminated by a shift of the mind and perspective. I know we all have the power and choice to do so in each moment. It’s just that we’re not trained to think in these ways. Too bad.

In the end, I decided to get out of bed and not sleep the morning away. I’ll be having a Thanksgiving meal with my daughters and friends today. I stepped onto the floor. I got on my knees, touched my forehead and hands to the ground, and remained there for a minute or two. I said thank you. To God, Allah, Buddha, Yahweh, Christ, Krishna, Ram The One, The Universe, Him, Energy, and my Mother. It’s all good.

I am so lucky and blessed.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Love & Light,


rm_sj365 56F
2414 posts
11/24/2005 1:24 pm

I miss you G!
happy tofuturkey day sweetie.

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

11/24/2005 6:09 pm

Thanks slippyjo! You know I'm your #1 fan. Just pokin my head up for a minute...

rm_lilypond3 59F
83 posts
11/25/2005 3:10 am

Hello Gene,
Been going thru' mail from a busy week and after being at a freinds tonight on this day of being "Thankful"
It's a rare day that I dont think of things that I am thankful for but I appreciate the list you gave us. It a great reading to end the night with!
Here's a few of mine:

I'm thankful I get home safely everyday> no car wrecks,no one tried to run me off the road, a tire didnt blow out, the axel hasnt broken yet. I have 2 vehicles to drive.

I look out my very humble dwelling and see a lake and hills with a beautiful sky most of the time. If its not, I still see the fog or mist hang over the water giving another totally different feeling. I have pretty good eyesight to see it with! I thank God for nature and all I see and experience on a daily basis.

I'm thankful for the fact no one is going to take THIS home from me . People that know me know how much has been stolen from me! (Those people will get their reward someday)

I love the love I receive from my pets,,,,they get me thru alot of would be lonely days.

Daily, I'm thankful that when I walk into a store, bank or gas station or go to work, that I get out without a robbery or shooting or some other catastrophy. A friends son was shot, at the mall near me other day, he's in his twenties and will most likely be paralyzed.Terrible!

I especially appreciate good and faithful freinds.

I'm thankful for living in this country, with the flaws and all. Its still one of the best places on earth to live.

I miss my mother and my stepdad, but what they left me to carry on in my life is worth more than any amount of money I'd ever have. I would give away those things that I've had TAKEN from me if it meant not having them in my life.
I'm also very happy that one grandmother is still doing well and is 95! I can still kiss and hug her!

Its good to learn alittle more about you Gene.

So contemplating on all these points I can go to sleep feeling even better than when I got up today!
Lots of hugs! LILY

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

11/25/2005 11:24 am

Candy, thanks so much for stopping by. I hope you don't run into Neanderthal Man there in RI! If you do, tell him hi for me, and that I hope his veins didn't pop out..


BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

11/25/2005 11:26 am

Hi Lily, so nice to hear from you yesterday. The list is endless isn't it? I think it's just a matter of training the mind. We can all be happy.. xoxo

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

11/25/2005 2:35 pm

Hi Lioness, nice to see you! Well, no, the sucking noise in the distance is sucking me back in.. HEEEELLLLLLLLLPPPPPPP!!!!!!

<into the void I go>


BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

11/26/2005 9:21 am

Hi honni! Thanks so much, nice to hear from you. Hope all is well in the land of the world's best weed.. Blow a little my way.

Gotta go catch up on your posts. Gald you're still here.

Hugs kisses

FriendlybutKinky 50M

11/29/2005 3:11 pm

A thoughtful post...enjoyed the read.

Thanks for the perspective.

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

12/2/2005 11:32 am

Honni: You KNOW I mean Humbolt LOL! Nice try..

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

12/2/2005 11:33 am

FriendlybutKinky: thanks for stopping by. I'll have to check out your stuff. Hope you had a great day of giving thanks.

BenefitsFriend69 58M/61F

12/2/2005 11:35 am

waggypolly: Nice to see you, and thanks for reading. I see you have 1668 posts (!). How do you guys do it??

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