It’s appropriate that American Thanksgiving falls in the Samhain season. Part of the work of Samhain should be bringing in the harvest and being grateful for it. I see Thanksgiving as a way to continue the work of the season.
For many of today’s Pagans, this “harvesting” is largely metaphorical or figurative. We don’t have to lay down enough food to last the winter and decide which parts of our herds to slaughter. But there are lots of people in our world today who have to gauge their resources to the last penny, and then some, and who struggle year-round to make ends meet.
A prime example is the plight of Walmart workers. Walmart, owned by the richest family in America, has an extensive list of offenses: paying workers a pittance; failing to provide benefits, such that workers have to rely on additional government assistance; unsafe labor environments; discriminating against women; and trying to prevent workers from organizing in order to improve their situation. I’m not going to go into all the details; here’s one of many other posts where you can learn more.
This Thanksgiving, as we meditate on our gratitude and strive to find ways to share with those less fortunate, we have a prime opportunity to put our values into action:
Walmart is trying to start Black Friday early on Thursday evening. Don’t go.
Walmart workers are striking on Black Friday. Don’t shop at Walmart on Friday. If you can, check out the Corporate Action Network or OUR Walmart to find other ways to support them. There’s also an Occupy-organized fund to provide money for food for striking workers.