It is almost Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays. Each year we have a turkey feast with a large gathering of relatives. Sometimes the weather is mild and we eat outside. This year it is already the wettest Thanksgiving season I can remember. I seasonally enjoy all my holidays. They get so associated with weather and seasonal foods, if I moved to Alaska it would be weird to have a snowy holiday, or in Hawaii, a beachy one.
The thing is, being the serious sort I am, I like to think about the reason for a holiday. In the case of Thanksgiving, it is to stop and remember that we have good luck in the fact that we live in a beautiful and free land. Often people forget to notice good fortune. They notice bad right away because they assume good fortune is the norm in life. It’s not. In fact, few people are as lucky as we are with no hungry nights, a full pantry, school, choices in life, and the freedom to have a say in and even dispute our leaders. There are a lot of people who enjoy none of that, so I try not to have a too casual appreciation of my luck in that.
To have autism in this land is even luckier. I am fully aware of how my life would have been if I had been born as strange as I am, in desperate poverty in a place that stigmatized the disabled as cursed. My shame would be to be hidden from sight, or tied to a rope, or institutionalized. In many places this occurs today. While I struggle mostly to help autistic people get a better life, I hope that those who live in these harsh conditions will have better lives too.
Wishing you all a wonderful and grateful Thanksgiving.