Post from a friend:
Abraham Lincoln established the Thanksgiving holiday by proclamation in October of 1863 "in the Midst of a Civil War of Unequalled magnitude and severity." It was intended to rally the spirit of a battered population, and help to remind those witnessing violence and misery that 1863 had still been a bountiful and promising year. That the wealth of land and labor, and the imminent promise of slavery's demise still gave cause for reverence.
I know for most of my friends 2016 was a rough year. So was 1863. I know that many are disgusted by the lie of the holiday's origins, especially when juxtaposed with the brutality that natives face today at Standing Rock. 1863 had no shortage of cause for disgust. I know that plenty take a look around and come up short on thanks, or resent being asked to give it. If an entirely reasonable anger eclipses your sense of gratitude so be it, but I have less sympathy for despair.
The deprivations and violence of our era are cause enough to animate every person of conscience, but by no means is the world bleaker today than it was in 1863. The battles of our day have yet to unfold and we should retain every confidence that they can and will be won. If you can muster the sentiment, I'm certain that there's plenty to be grateful for.
Happy Thanksgiving everybody!