A man received a parrot as a gift. The bird had a bad attitude, and every word out of its mouth was rude.
The man tried to change the bird’s attitude by speaking politely, playing soft music, and teaching it a new vocabulary. Nothing worked. Fed up, the man yelled at the parrot. The parrot yelled back. He shook the parrot, but it became more rude.
In desperation, he shoved the bird into the freezer. For a while, the parrot squawked and screamed. Then it was quiet. Not a peep was heard for more than a minute.
Fearing he’d hurt the parrot, the man opened the freezer door. The parrot calmly stepped out and said, “I believe I have offended you with my rude and offensive language. I am sincerely remorseful. … I intend to do whatever I can to correct my bad behavior.”
The man was stunned. As he was about to ask the parrot what had so dramatically changed its behavior, the bird continued, “May I ask what the turkey did?”
With “turkey day” approaching, our thoughts turn to those quintessentially American traditions: football and feasting. Most of us have good memories of gathering around a table laden with sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, pumpkin pie, and roast turkey. My brothers and I spent the afternoon playing touch football with boys from the neighborhood. Football was also on television.
And there was shopping. Even if people aren’t spending, they’ll go to the malls to see and be seen. Movie attendance will be up.
Maybe you’ve noticed. I’ve been able to write about the holiday without naming it. I do that to make a point: It’s possible to enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday without expressing thanks. The media steer us from naming “the holidays.” Maybe that’s because “Thanksgiving” implies there is One to whom we should be thankful.
With everything else we enjoy that day, let’s call it “Thanksgiving.” Let’s use our freedom of speech to “praise God from Whom all blessings flow.” Let’s teach our children the art of appreciation. Take time to give thanks for America’s heritage of freedom and to pray that it will continue.