It’s hard to think of Thanksgiving without thinking of a turkey. A turkey, at least the domesticated kind, strikes me as having qualities that are the exact opposite of what each of us needs to be. Turkeys are fat, dumb, and happy. We need to be lean, smart, and dissatisfied. To be lean is to consume just what we need and no more. Being smart means learning all we can and using good judgment in what we do. To improve our lives and those of the people around us, we must be dissatisfied with what we see around us.
This is not to say that there is something necessarily wrong with turkeys or their metaphorical counterparts. It is actually healthy to spend part of our lives with extra things as a buffer for the times when what we need is hard to find; to limit our thinking so we can act instinctively as some situations demand; and to accept the world as it is so we can reduce stress. Problems surface when we make this a way of life. And we know how a turkey’s life ends.