As the U.S. celebrates Thanksgiving this year, the day is passing like many others for billions of people around the world. In India, women with children and husbands (some of whom have already worked themselves to death) toil barefoot and, with their bare hands, haul heavy loads of dirt at construction sites. They earn less than $2.50 per day.
Many of these women, if interviewed, would say they like their jobs because with the money they earn they can feed their children.
For millions of people here in the U.S., Thanksgiving Day is a day like many others because, like on other days, they are able to enjoy the comfort of a warm home and a bountiful meal with people they love.
Yet, for millions of Americans this Thanksgiving is different. This Thanksgiving, 250,000 a month are losing jobs, almost as many a month are losing homes, and soup kitchens that feed some of the hungry report they are running out of food.
Many miles separate those women of India from the Americans worrying about how they will pay for Thanksgiving dinner. Their problems, however, share a common cause.
The woman in India hauling dirt in her bare feet toils a block or two away from a five-star hotel that charges $5 for a glass of Coca-Cola. The woman in America who is losing her home pays taxes that are bailing out a bank that is taking her house.
In both cases the gap between rich and poor spurred by the workings of global capitalism is causing immense suffering. It’s a moral outrage.
The flame of hope, however, burns bright in America this Thanksgiving.
The people have elected a new leader who understands the injustice inherent in the obscene wealth gap. The people of the world are celebrating this choice. They watch with hope. That indeed gives us much to be thankful for this year.
On Thanksgiving Day, let’s resolve to do everything in our power to keep alive and spread the flame of hope that has been ignited. We owe this to our loved ones, to the people of our country, to the people of the world and to ourselves.