Show 264: Reinventing Thanksgiving w/ Arnell Dowret and Barry Schwartz

Reinventing Thanksgiving- Counting Our Blessings- and Seeing Reality

Thanksgiving is a holiday rife with problems- historical revisionism, and denial, not to mention bizarre fetishistic overeating and gallinaceous debauchery.  In addition to nausea, the most common response to Thanksgiving among progressives is to both debunk and challenge the skewed narrative.

But because, Thanksgiving is not going away anytime soon, in addition to challenging the story line and presumptions attendant to Thanksgiving, an additional line of attack should involve a fundamental reinvention of the holiday- as a holiday that would actually diminish our arrogant jingoistic tendencies, and become a part of our efforts to create a culture which promotes progressive values and conveys naturalistic wisdom.

Building on the idea central to its name, Thanksgiving has potential to offer intrinsic humanistic value by reminding and inspiring us to practice what has in recent years been simply described as “gratitude.”  The evidence seems undeniable- engaging in activities which broaden our sense of gratitude has huge consequences for our emotional health and overall sense of happiness.

During the program we will discuss what is meant by “gratitude” and we’ll explore some of the techniques available to support the practicing gratitude.  We’ll also consider how the practice of gratitude fits into the lives of people who do not have supernatural beliefs.

Helping us explore how such practices may help contribute to our happiness and to building a healthier culture will be Dr. Barry Schwartz, Professor of Social Theory and Social Action at Swarthmore Collage.   Dr. Schwartz is the author of numerous books on human happiness including The Paradox of Choice, The Battle for Human Nature: Science, Morality and Modern Life, and The Costs of Living: How Market Freedom Erodes the Best Things in Life.

Caveat: This notion of ‘reinventing Thanksgiving’ is not shared by all ETFF producers.

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