Thanksgiving has always been a difficult holiday for my family. My brother died Thanksgiving weekend almost 50 years ago. We have suffered other losses over Thanksgiving weekend, and certainly many others struggle on this day when we are urged to give thanks.
Of course, the fact that life is a struggle for so many is why I engage in systems change on both a personal and professional level. Allowing things to remain the same when the world needs so much improvement is simply unacceptable.
One way the world is enriched and helped to move forward in a positive manner is through powerful art and poetry. For me, art and poetry that evokes a better future helps move me past darker moments. One artist and poet who inspires me is Judy Chicago.
Among her famous exhibits is The Dinner Party. Here is one evocative place setting from that exhibit.
In conjunction with The Dinner Party, she wrote a poem that is found in my synagogue’s Reconstructionist siddur (prayer book), entitled The Merger Poem. I offer it below as it so beautifully describes my vision of a better future for all.
And then all that has divided us will merge.
And then compassion will be wedded to power
And then softness will come to a world that is harsh and unkind.
And then both men and women will be gentle.
And then both women and men will be strong.
And then no person will be subject to another’s will.
And then all will be rich and free and varied.
And then the greed of some will give way to the needs of many.
And then all will share equally in the earth’s abundance.
And then all will care for the sick and the weak and the old.
And then all will nourish the young.
And then all will cherish life’s creatures.
And then all will live in harmony with each other and the earth.
And then everywhere will be called Eden once again.
May the artists and poets among us provide the inspiration we need to improve the lives of each and every one of us.
For more information on how I can help you accomplish effective, progressive systems change contact Jeff Spitzer-Resnick by visiting his website: Systems Change Consulting.