In a Thanksgiving post from three years ago, I noted that in Spanish, “Thanksgiving” is literally translated “Thanks-Action” (acción de gracias). In the post, I asked you to call your congressperson to urge them to move on immigration reform. I felt upset about the problems facing immigrants in our country back then.
Wow, a lot changes in three years, doesn’t it?
- Pull aside a loved one with whom you disagree politically, and ask them about what issues they care about most, and why. Just listen. Even if you hate what they say. Just listen. Learn. And breathe. Give their words to God. Here’s some more ideas for how to do that well.
- Call your congressperson about DACA. This is the executive action Obama signed two years ago to give people brought to the US as children some way of working legally in the US. They had to go through an extensive vetting process, including giving all their personal and financial information to the government. If DACA expires, at best they’ll go underground again. At worst, they could get deported. I personally know people affected by this. Please ask your congressperson to speak out for DACA to stay in place.
- Call your congressperson about the appointments President-elect Trump is suggesting for his senior staff/cabinet. If they’ve spoken up about them already, thank them. I’m super-concerned about the alt-right leader, Steve Bannon, becoming chief strategist. (When asked about his models for using power, he named Satan, saying “darkness is good.”) But unfortunately, there are several troubling people to choose from.
- This has been saving my life recently: set a timer for fifteen minutes and sit still, listening to your breathing. Recite a breath prayer if it helps you focus. Yes, action is important, and intentional stillness qualifies.
Also, have a really wonderful Thanksgiving. I’m praying for our country, our conversations, and for our ability to be compassionate and clear-eyed in dark times.