I'm linking up today with the Red Dress Club to talk about what I'm grateful for.
I am grateful for so many things: my freedom of speech, my nice house and my mama minivan. Grateful for my family and friends, my husband and kids (and let's not forget Monster our mini poodle). I'm thankful for the food we eat, the clothes we wear, and our freedom of religion. I feel blessed to know people like Diana Adams over at Bit Rebels who wrote this incredible post on homelessness, because it inspires me to do more. I'm incredibly lucky to have Shelly Kramer of V3im.com who's buying a cow with me. We're going road trippin' tomorrow to pick up the meat and deliver it. Can't wait to have some girl time and catch up with her, all the while doing something green and healthy for our families. I'm indebted to innumerable talented blogger friends who make me think, help me grow, and virtually hold my hand. Not room enough to mention them all, but here are a few to get you started:
Pamela at Road To Joy
Nancy at Away We Go
Ash At Shades
Alexandra at Good Day Regular People
Cherry Woodburn at Borderless Thinking
Tulpen at Bad Words
Joyce Cherrier at Freaking Fitness
Danielle Smith of Extraordinary Mommy
Michelle Mangen, the Virtual Assistant
Megan at I Dance, I Write
On a more serious note...
I am grateful I can be a practicing Jew in today's day and age. Oh, except that people from Westboro Baptist Church picket outside our synagogue some Friday evenings. I am grateful that my gay dad can live his life with his partner without encountering any bigotry or scrutiny. Oh, except that WBC's site URL is http://www.godhatesfags.com./ Nice.
I am grateful I wasn't taken from my home, made to walk miles and miles in horrid conditions to places called Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen, or Dachau. I'm happy my head wasn't shaved and that I wasn't starved and made to work all day long and sleep in cramped quarters. Most of all, I'm glad no one told me it was time for a shower, but instead sent me into a gas chamber where I lived my last minutes hearing screaming, crying, and the sound of bodies around me collapsing on the cold, concrete floor.
It will never happen again. Right? The Holocaust, I mean. Sometimes I'm not so sure. Sometimes, like last night, ON THANKSGIVING, no less, I'm taken aback by the stark realization that antisemitism and all kinds of racism and bigotry are still very much alive. Not just alive, but thriving.
Some of you might have watched my whimsical vlog on Hanukkah. I noticed last night that several people I don't know had left not-so-nice comments about my being Jewish. I blocked those YouTube users, reported them, and deleted the slurs. Then I got mad. The shaking and pacing kind of mad.
To add insult to injury, I was on Twitter where @SCTNow_Portland sent out a tweet about child trafficking "by the Jews." It linked to a YouTube video. Heart pounding, I clicked on the link and was relieved to see a message that YouTube had removed the clip due to violations and hateful sentiments. I walked in our local SCT Now (Stop Child Trafficking) walk back in October and was proud to do so. But the notion that people are pinning something like this on a particular religious group infuriated me. I've not seen any tweets about child trafficking by "the gays," or "the African Americans," or "the Methodists." Unfollow.
Some days I'm afraid. I don't understand people. I worry for my daughters' future. I'm terrified there will come a day when we head to temple for services and there will be violence outside. And I'll have to explain it to them. They don't even know about the Holocaust yet and I dread the day they're old enough that it's time to tell them.
Seriously, people. Enough is ENOUGH.
It's time to grow up. It's time to be kind to one another. It's time to embrace our differences, respect said differences, and really think about where this world is heading. Where YOU are heading.
Later while I was still stewing, I watched Chelsea Handler and Gwyneth Paltrow fist bump on Chelsea Lately's special last night. Both women have Jewish roots, and I adore them. Watching them together after the evening's previous events made me smile. If Chels and Gwynnie can fist bump, then damn it, this post is my virtual one.
What are you grateful for? What are you afraid of? I want to know.