A Short Post For A Long Day

Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday, but it tends to be a long day–both for those of us having family over, and for people traveling across town or across country to be with  family and friends.

What I love about Thanksgiving–aside from having my nuclear and extended family around the table–is that it requires us to focus on how fortunate most of us are. And we are fortunate. No one’s life is perfect, but whatever deficits we’ve racked up, in my family we have our health, food to eat, homes to sleep in, supportive friends and people to love. So it’s good.

When we look beyond our personal situations, of course, it’s a different story.

It’s one thing to recognize my own blessings; it’s another to look at a world in which unrest and White Nationalism are growing, or to follow reports of  the daily damage that Trump is inflicting on America.  I worry constantly about the social, economic and environmental challenges my grandchildren will face.

If we work hard and are very lucky, next Thanksgiving we will be grateful for the electoral defeat of Trumpworld– grateful for confirmation that good Americans outnumber the racists in his cult. (If we aren’t lucky, we can kiss the America I’ve believed in goodbye.) We shall see what the next year brings.

In the meantime, let me share some things for which I am immensely grateful:

  • The readers of this blog, including but absolutely not limited to those who take the time and trouble to comment. It really helps to know that others share my angst.
  • The fact that no one who will be at my Thanksgiving table is a Trump supporter–or even close. (I told you I have a wonderful family.)
  • For my awesome students, who constantly demonstrate inclusiveness and concern for community and fundamental fairness–I’d turn the country over to them right now.
  • And for a husband and family who put up with me….

To all of you: happy turkey day. We can return to the disaster that is our federal government tomorrow.


  1. Couldn’t agree more—with everything you said. And Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours as well!

  2. Happy Thanksgiving Sheila! I read and appreciate you post. I too look forward to next Thanksgiving and hopefully a Trump free presidency.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving to you, as well, Sheila. I am also thankful for the other commenters on your blog. Even when we disagree, I am provided with something to think about and new positions to consider.

  4. I’M SO THANKFUL; there are still people of integrity that takes their time every day to speak out against the wrongs in the world, Happy Thanksgiving to You and Yours and all who’s follow your words of wisdom and truth.

  5. Thanks to you, Prof. Kennedy, and all of the commenters on this blog who together offer me a thoughtful and often challenging place to start my day. May you all be with those you love this day to share a meal in peace and fellowship.

  6. Yes! I greatly appreciate this blog and those who comment. Thank you Sheila, and Happy Thanksgiving to everyone. Indeed – we have much to be thankful for.

  7. I rarely comment, but do so appreciate your daily blog, Sheila. Happy Thanksgiving to you and your family.

  8. Thank you, Sheila, for committing to the effort of daily stimulating our thoughts and lifting up important issues for us, your regular readers. Happy Thanksgiving.

  9. Happy Thanksgiving to all of you! I am grateful I found this blog and a community of interested, interesting people!

  10. Happy Thanksgiving to Sheila and all; to those who are at home with families or on their way, those who are far away today serving this country, those who are serving meals to others not fortunate enough to have a home, family and food.

    I woke up during the night to discover my power was out from the wind; immediately upset at the inconvenience then thought about Puerto Rico and all others who need help, needed heeded and are still waiting. Then a text from my daughter-in-law, sending my son to pick up something needed but forgotten for our dinner today. My handsome, smiling son’s face was enough to make this truly a Happy Thanksgiving and to realize how fortunate I am. I wish the same for all of you; and a special wish for those who lost a loved one near this holiday season.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  11. Thank you, Sheila, for providing us a daily platform to share our thoughts and ideas. It’s an excellent source of information!

    I have much to be grateful for this Thanksgiving.


  12. A meaningful day to all…

    “Thankfulness creates gratitude , which generates contentment that causes peace.” Todd Stocker

  13. The blog “My Civic Workout” (What Thanksgiving traditions will you be part of this year? How about the tradition of honoring the voices and experiences of Native people, both on Thanksgiving Day and year-round? We’ve got some ideas for how to do that in today’s issue.) has reflections that echo Sheila’s words for today. Go to “info@mycivicworkout.com”.

  14. Yes, those of us paying attention should be thankful that we can still blog like this without expecting the 3:00 A.M. knock on the door from the thought police.

    I appreciate all the stimulation the people on this blog provide every day. They also provide good research pathways and insight to balance the absurdity and insanity of the current political environment.

    Enjoy your day of thanks, everyone. If our messages are lost on the deaf, dumb and blind Republicans, your children and grandchildren won’t be able to give these sorts of thanks.

  15. Thankful for your daily updates about our country.
    Don’t always take the time to comment but I, too, take comfort in knowing that thoughtful, intelligent people see the world as I do.
    Have a wonderful day filled with serenity and joy!

  16. Happy Thanksgiving Sheila, to a thoughtful, smart person who gives me food for thought everyday. I was put on to your blog by a friend in Jacksonville, FL, where we both live. Thanks for your insight.

  17. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone from Rochester NY. My life has been filled from beginning to almost end with such a Thanksgiving Day Parade of endless wonderful (and I mean full of wonder) people, events, experiences and life in all forms. That’s so true for most everyone I know especially family.

    I want so much for that to continue for everyone.

  18. Professor Kennedy,

    We do have a great deal to be Thankful for. Our Health, Family, Friends, Spouse and our beliefs of what is right or wrong!! Enjoy this Thanksgiving, but as we get closer to the next Thanksgiving we must join together and work to defeat TRUMP!! WE MUST!!



  19. ?
    Today we should all be Samaritans. Look at the example of the Good Samaritan, or the example of the ten lepers with one being a Samaritan. They are examples of empathy, gratitude, and christ-like qualities. Unfortunately there’s not many Samaritans around anymore!
    Be well all.

  20. Thank YOU Sheila for educating us, for making us think, and for making us thankful for stars like you.

  21. Thank you, Sheila Kennedy, for your professional and personal commentary. If I were a student, I would love to take a class like yours. We desperately need more civics. For me, you and those who comment, help shed light on dark times.

  22. I am glad that we have free speech in this country so that we can comment on blogs like this one. My gratitude list is very long. Gratitude is one of the secrets to happiness. So here’s a challenge. What has Trump done that can result in a positive reaction? I think a lot of people have awakened to the fact that we all must support our democracy if it is to continue because of the current occupant of the white house. So many people are out marching and raising their voices. I just hope and pray that people who have been awakened out of their sleep by Trumpism will, in fact, defeat Trump in 2020 and give us a really wonderful reason to celebrate next year.

  23. Even if you didn’t do anything else, your DAILY production of thoughtful, well-written columns would be awesome. I’ve become hooked. I grew up in a Republican family, served as head of the US EPA clean air and waste management programs in the Ford Administration, but am now an Independent. While I can’t stomach today’s GOP, I am also frustrated that the Dems — since the FDR, Truman and Johnson days — have focused so much on racial and sexual minorities [I am all FORS their causes] that they have allowed Trump to attract many of the less educated blue collar folks who during those earlier days were the backbone of the Democratic Party.

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