Happiness is a challenge; a gauntlet thrown down that very few people care to pick up. It is difficult, after all, to look at your life, your family, your home, your job, your surroundings, and, after considerable thought and analysis, turn away again with a smile of contentment on your face.
But it can be done for one day.
I know people – here in the three dimensional marketplace as well as in my lively, invisible neighborhood – who have gone through/are going through rough times; yet invariably they have the wisdom and strength to be thankful. Thankful for friends to talk to; for a home to shelter them; for small favors and large mercies; for pets that silently watch and wait – for no matter what you are a God to them; for the memories that through the years have built a personality as complex as a cat's cradle; for the breath that passes through their lips.
So, keeping all of this in mind, I dare my citizenry in the United States to luxuriate in their gratitude this Thanksgiving. We are surrounded by details that are magnificent. To notice only one or two each day would be enough to suffuse our hearts with delight.
It might not be easy. It might, in fact, be rather a strain. Which is a good reason why Thanksgiving comes only once a year. No one wants the entire United States of America to suffer an anuerism.
There are problems. There are grievances. There are worries. There is anger. There is loss. The Cafe Royal is not so elite that it doesn't recognize these things. But these obstacles are the layers of grit and grime that shadow and destory a great work of art, possibly the greatest: the human capacity to be happy.
Dorothy Sayers wrote that perhaps the only sin passion could commit was to be joyless. So I hope that we can spend Thursday in one grand effort of conservation, rejuvenation and celebration. And – this goes out to my international neighbors as well – to remember that the world is indeed a joyful place.