As J. Bradford DeLong demonstrated on his blog yesterday, Thanksgiving means different things at different times to different people.
Nevertheless, as described by Willard Spiegelman, for many people in the U.S. it has come to represent a time, "for family and for harmony, for gathering together and sitting down at a table." Regardless of our ideological biases, we can probably agree that it has become a day for being thankful both for life itself and the people who enrich our lives.
When University of Washington women’s basketball coach Tia Jackson was asked what Thanksgiving means to her at Tuesday's media day, she took the opportunity to share a personal story about a person who touched her life -- Barbara McCool, longtime girls basketball coach and athletic director at Mardela Middle and High School in Mardela Springs, Maryland.
One of the people that I’ve really embraced and given a lot of credit to for my success is my high school coach. There’s three people I’ll always talk about: my high school coach, my mother, and then Vivian Stringer. Just two weeks ago my high school coach passed away of lymphoma. So one of the things, if nothing else, this year is giving tremendous thanks to her for everything she’s done and kinda tribute my efforts this year to all that she’s done for me.
Forgive my emotional state here.
While McCool was a person who apparently touched the lives of many people, it's also the ideal time to appreciate the people around us who have enriched our lives, yet never had a word of copy written about their impact in a media outlet. There's no need to ask forgiveness for being emotional about the importance of those who have touched us, even in ways other people might not acknowledge.