Is a Happy Thanksgiving even possible this year? November is typically a month filled with the warmth of autumnal celebrations and everything pumpkin spice. But this year, there’s a palpable heaviness, an almost collective depression across our nation. Whether it’s from the roller-coaster election season or troubles brewing in our society, gratitude is hard to muster. Typically Thanksgiving is ushered in via those daily gratitude posts on social media, but even those seem to be in short supply this year. In this ounce of Persuasion, Erin Straza and Hannah Anderson peel apart the reason for Thanksgiving and the ways we can cultivate gratitude even in dark times. Hope is drawn from history, when Abraham Lincoln re-instituted Thanksgiving during the Civil War. Certainly those dark days made it difficult for U.S. citizens to have a happy Thanksgiving, yet Lincoln was wise to call our country to give thanks. Today, although we may not feel the warm fuzzies of Thanksgiving in our hearts, we have reason to practice the discipline as a sort of national liturgy. As difficult as it may be to feel gratitude, we are all in desperate need of Thanksgiving this year.

Listen to Persuasion Episode 77:

Links from the show:

Abraham Lincoln: Proclamation 118—Thanksgiving Day, 1864

Theme music by Maiden Name.