As I’m sure you're aware, Thursday is Thanksgiving. As I’ve wished friends and classmates a happy holiday, I’ve gotten mixed reactions. Some wish me the same. Some gush about family traditions and Thanksgiving foods. Some talk about seeing their families for the first time in four months. Some talk about partying with high school friends. Some, however, scoff at the well wishes. They say they hate Thanksgiving because it celebrates colonialism and the abuse of Native Americans. They hate it because they can’t stand their families (or their families’ political beliefs). They hate it because they don’t like the food or are the only vegan or vegetarian at the table. Or, they hate it because they find it hard to give thanks in that environment.
This year has been trying— politically, economically and mentally. The record for deadliest mass shooting in modern history keeps being broken. We hope and pray for an adequate health care bill, and we're left waiting. Sexual assault allegations are coming out, but some still think sexual assault is the victim's fault. It's 2017, and people are still racist. Some people still think women are less capable than men. Some still don’t believe mental health deserves attention. Some still think LGBTQ+ people are sinful. Some think climate change is a hoax. People are still horrible, but that doesn't mean we have nothing to be thankful for.
I'm not going to sit from my place of privilege and tell you everything will work out. We may fight our entire lives for change we’ll never see. In the meantime, recognize you live in a world where you can fight for whatever you believe in. You can be among those who can — and will — fix the mess we've created.
I’m not going to tell you the world isn’t broken. I wonder if the pilgrims thought so. I’m sure the Native Americans did. But not everything is broken. Every day, people do things to blow my mind negatively, but others blow my mind positively. While your family situation may not be good, I know there's someone who's impacted you positively. While you may not have a significant other, I know you have a friend or family member who would drop everything for you. You may not be treated fairly, but I know there's someone fighting for equality for you. Life is a mess, but it’s beautiful. Take a moment this week to find something to be thankful for. I’m thankful for you, dear readers. Keep fighting the good fight. Happy Thanksgiving.
Taylor Cavaliere is a UF journalism and psychology junior. Her column appears on Mondays.