I’ve been sitting here, struggling with how to write this article, for a few hours now. Initially, it was going to be a site-relevant, list of things in the geek world we’ve been thankful for this year. The camaraderie of conventions, getting to see a new Star Wars trailer, that sort of thing. A nice, simple article to go down easy this morning.
But with everything going on lately, that just feels…wrong. Distasteful, even. To pretend that everything is hunky dory while parts of our cities burn, and people I’ve known for years start showing sides of themselves I’ve never seen.
In the past twentyfour hours, I’ve seen two calls for murder and many more for assault. I’ve seen an entire group of people likened to “savages” and “animals”. We’ve talked on this blog before about the importance of narrative, and how much research you should do before you try and pretend you know something. But all I’ve seen in the last few days is the narrative working. So many people believe what they’ve read in the newspapers, what their friends are posting on Facebook, without even a second glance. I’ve caught myself doing it several times – we all just want to live in our own echo chambers, where nobody disagrees with us and everything we believe is true.
So this Thanksgiving, what I’m most thankful for is the people I’ve seen, on both sides, who are willing to reach across the aisle and educate. There are a few of them, and I’ve learned a lot from watching their reactions to Ferguson. As they’ve strived to understand each other, they’ve allowed me to understand them both.
The original legend of Thanksgiving – and who knows how true it really is – is about two very different groups of people coming together to help and celebrate each other. Imagine what our world could be like if they had kept that ideal in their minds – if men hadn’t let their lust for power and land drive a people to near extinction. Imagine a world we could live in where people understand and accept each other’s differences, and troubles, and experiences, without dismissing them.
That’s the kind of world I want to live in, and I’m thankful for everyone out there who’s working towards that goal.
Have a happy Thanksgiving, everybody.
Mike Fatum is the Editor in Chief and Podcast Co-host of the Ace of Geeks.
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