Thursday, November 24, 2011

Giving Thanks

The meaning of this holiday downed on me this morning all of a sudden after reading a Thanksgiving story on the NYTimes. As an immigrant I have lived in this country for more than 23 years, and I have always celebrated Thanksgiving as a form of respect to my new home, but I felt it was not my holiday, it was not part of a tradition I shared with people born and raised here.  The reason of that is because I did not understand its meaning. Yes, Thanksgiving is a traditional holiday, but it is not just that. Thanksgiving is, most of all, giving thanks. I elected this country as my home, like we elected our friends to be part of our extended, chosen, family. But I realize we cannot take all of that for granted. Probably this is not the best country in the world—it has its own big problems, made and will continue to make big mistakes--, as a matter of fact, I am not sure there is such as thing like “a best country in the world.” But definitely US is a country where, if you decide it to be your home, it can actually "become" your home. How many countries have that property? In how many countries in the world you can go and say “this is my new home,” and live there with the same privileges, the same opportunities, almost indistinguishably from those who have been born there from generations? I would say not many. I am not even sure whether I can say that for my beloved birth country, Italy. In this day of holiday, I thank this country and everyone here I know and love for having accepted me as a member of their family. Happy Thanksgiving!

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