“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” – Barack Obama
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – quote falsely attributed to Ghandi, often found on coffee cups and bumper stickers, very popular, often accompanied by a stencil drawing of Ghandi’s face, inconsistent with Ghandi’s explicit beliefs about societal change, but nevertheless inspiring, a quote well worth being monetized.
This is a picture of Obama in front of the turkey he will pardon the day before Thanksgiving.
Every year, Ancient Israel slaughtered innocent animals on the Day of Atonement for their collective sins. The day before Thanksgiving, America is proud of its commander-in-chief-priest to not perform a sacrifice for our collective sins, but rather apologize to this turkey for the atoning birds we devour by gratitude every Thanksgiving.
“The turkey represents, not just our inherited sins from our ancestors, but also the sins we daily commit. On the Day of American Pardon, we put our hands to the warm feathers of the nearest turkey, symbolizing our most profound apology for both the sins of others and our own. As a good book says, the sins of the father pass from generation to generation, so too in America, we are guilty of the sins our collective consciousness has forgotten–like slavery, for example. We vow with our mouths and our heartburn the next day that we are yet still sinners, but while we were still sinners, we apologized for ourselves. The Day of American Pardon and the Day of Thanksgiving complement one another; a paradox we would all do well to meditate on by yoga or, more simply, through the folding of the hands and a little rest. We give our apology, yet we take another life; maybe two or three, depending on the size of our extended family (and whether we get along with them well enough to invite them over, celebrating indigestion around a crowded table stretching from the living room to the foyer). As a good book says, the Lord gives and the Lord takes away, so too in America, we give and we take away. We are our Lord. And as our Lord, we are responsible for changing the course of our own collective salvation.” – President Barack Obama
“As someone who is hungry all the time, I find the very idea of Thanksgiving delicious and I look forward to the turkey and stuffing this year. My grandma makes a wicked onion dip. We in our house prefer carrots over potato chips for dip, unless the potato chips are homemade, in which case we infuse them with curry. We are Indians. Some of my ancestors were there when the pilgrims landed at Plymouth. As an inheritor of sacred Thanksgiving traditions, I vow to imagine stuffing my stomach so full of edible things, that the food would pile up into my esophagus, thus causing me to be slightly short of breath, possess a heart of fire, spit acid on occasion, and sometimes cough up food I might have once taken into myself. In the end, it would all work out. As I say, eat–or don’t, as in my case–the change you wish to see in the world. This is what we do on Thanksgiving; we eat–or feed on the idea of eating, as I do. We pile the food so high on our plate, in such a mess, that the green beans and the mashed potatoes, filled with butterloads of sour cream, and the onion dip and the carrots and the wine and the, oh my favorite, the, the, my mouth–how it drools–the turkey covered in three kinds of gravy become one and when we digest the food, we too become one with our gratitude. And eight or so hours later, we work out our gratitude with fear and trembling, a journey we must take alone.” – Ghandi