[ExI] Why is xmas 'the holiday season' in America??

spike spike66 at att.net
Mon Dec 17 05:41:38 UTC 2007

> bounces at lists.extropy.org] On Behalf Of Technotranscendence
> You're forgetting the secular "holiday" of New Years and the national
> holiday of Thanksgiving.  Of course, the latter has a religious tinge.
... Dan

So true Techno, and this has given me some food for thought.

Thanksgiving is often observed by the nonreligious with feasting and
football.  These are two things I care little about, but I do recognize the
value of giving thanks.  Gratitude is a powerful emotion, one that drives
happiness.  It does in my own life.

As Dan points out, the holiday called Thanksgiving in the states has a lotta
religious overtones, but I want to free the concept of gratitude from
religion.  Religion Incorporated does not own gratitude.  Religion does not
own human decency, does not own honesty, caring, charity, any of the good
stuff.  Religion Incorporated can have the crusades, jihad, televangelists,
pedophile priests, al qaeda, the dark ages, the taliban, etc, but we
unbelievers want to take gratitude as our own. 

My extropian friends I do challenge you to practice a daily dose of
gratitude.  If we have religious people among us you may ignore this
request, as you are perhaps already filled with gratitude to the deity of
your choice, but for the rest of us, the atheists and agnostics, I challenge
you to think every day of what you are thankful for, and who you are
thankful for.  It doesn't have to be a living person, but those are OK too,
and even better if you know the person and just tell them you appreciate
their having been born.

I will start.  I am thankful every day, every minute for the birth of my
son.  I am thankful for those who helped me get my thinking to where it is
now, including but not restricted to: Bertrand Russell, Douglas Hofstadter,
Steven Jay Gould, Isaac Asimov, Arthur C. Clarke, Robert Pirsig, my many
exi-chat friends including Anders, Amara, Damien, Max, J. Andrew, Gene,
Keith, all of you who post smart and interesting stuff.  I thank you all and
the many more that I missed mentioning, and I thank evolution for waiting so
long to produce me so I could find all these good folks on the internet.

Be thankful!  {8-]



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