Thanksgiving means many things to many people. And I would assume that our perspective on any day at a point in time can change given our circumstances at the present moment. Never before was this more clear to me than it was tonight when I began casually watching Gone With The Wind tonight. It had been years since I watched the movie and a movie that was at one time to me just “one of the classics” revealed to me a more startling and enveloping message that lends itself to my Thanksgiving Day Meaning at this point in time.
In an ideal world we would always seek out family, friends and the poor, but that never seems to be the case. In a world laced with this appreciation day or that appreciation day, I think many have become so lost in life that popular culture finds a way to define our days for us in order to profit from us by tricking us into believing labels are necessary to appreciate the things we enjoy and the people we love.
Instead of writing endlessly of platitudes of what I believe Thanksgiving should or should not be, I just want to share a random thought about what I saw when I watched Gone With the Wind tonight and hope to move positively forward on another year, literally, as today is also my birthday!
At any given point in the movie, Scarlett only wants what she doesn’t have. At one point, she had a husband who adored her, a baby, a beautiful home, amazing clothes, money… and all she wanted was an 18 inch waistline and an old crush who loved someone else.
It was only when her husband finally left, she suddenly wanted him. I always thought that the horizon at the end of the movie was a message of hope. Tonight I realize that the sunset on the horizon and the beautiful music at the end is not the promise of a new day or representing strength over adversity.
Rather, the sunset on the horizon represents a metaphor for how Scarlett lives. For her, all the good things are always “out there” somewhere, on the horizon. If you notice, she stopped crying and got a dreamy look in her eyes when she had something to long for again. It is the thrill of the chase she wants, because there is no real responsibility.
He who is not contented with what he has, would not be contented with what he would like to have.
I don’t like to be predictable and I am not going to go through a laundry list of things that I am or purport to be thankful for. I only hope and pray that those that have touched my life know and realize how thankful I am for them. If I didn’t have the love and support of my friends, I would be nothing.
In my short lifetime it has been my friends that have been my heroes. I never try to lose sight of what they have done for me and how they have touched me at moments of despair and loneliness. If you need your heroes to be perfect, you won’t have many. Even Superman had his Kryptonite. I’d rather have my heroes be more like me: trying to do the right thing, sometimes messing up. Making mistakes. Saying you’re sorry. And forgiving other people when they mess up, too.
May we all realize this Thanksgiving, and indeed every day, that the good things in life are not always “out there” on the horizon, but present in the simple smiles, hugs, and realizations that the people in our life care about us and protect us from the vicious realities of the world that we find ourselves living in.