Burch: Thanks & Giving

Thursday, November 22, 2012 at 12:51am
By Michael R. Burch

Now that another turkey day has arrived, it seems like a good time to think about thanks, and giving. Like most Nashvillians, I have a lot to be thankful for. And I believe that giving something back is one of the best ways to show true gratitude. So here goes:

I am very thankful for local charitable organizations, and I hope we can all find ways to give back, through them, in the spirit of the season. If money is short, why not offer time or goods?

I am very thankful for southern hospitality, and I hope to give back by exhibiting it myself as often as possible. I’ve lived in England, Germany and states from the East Coast to the Midwest to the West Coast, and I’ve never met people who were friendlier than Nashvillians.

Having seen half my subdivision underwater during the Great Nashville Flood, I am very thankful to know that Tennessee truly is the Volunteer State. An insurance adjustor who helped people in our neighborhood file claims said that he had never seen such cooperation anywhere else. In fact, he said that he liked what he saw so much that he was thinking about moving to Nashville himself! Volunteers give of themselves, expecting nothing in return except the warm glow of a job well done, and the smile of relief on someone else’s face. Tennesseans are known for such giving, and rightfully so, in my experience.

I am very thankful for Nashville’s mothers, who could probably teach the angels a few things about love, compassion and selfless sacrifice. I hope we will all remember to give back by thanking our mothers and wives for their wonderful, giving natures.

I am very thankful that I live in a country that was able to overcome its racist past by electing a multi-racial, multi-cultural president. Regardless of what President Obama does or doesn’t accomplish, his election and reelection were landmark moments for the United States and the American people. Hopefully in the future we will judge not only our children, but also our politicians and presidents, by the content of their character, not their race, creed, age, sex or sexual preference. I hope to give back by exercising my rights to vote, speak freely and dissent, when necessary.

I am very thankful for the many courageous young men and women — black, brown, red, yellow and white; gay and straight; Christian, Muslim, Hindu, atheist and agnostic — who enlist in our military to serve and protect their country. I hope to give back by striving, to the best of my ability, to keep them from being placed in harm’s way on false or highly dubious premises. I will give even more thanks when they are all safely home, and don’t have to risk their lives, health and mental well-being when it’s not absolutely necessary.

And finally, I would like to thank anyone who takes the time to read my articles, because I really do appreciate them giving my words their time and attention.


Michael R. Burch is a Nashville-based editor and publisher of Holocaust poetry and other “things literary” at www.thehypertexts.com.

Filed under: City Voices
Tagged: Michael Burch

40 Comments on this post:

By: MusicCity615 on 11/22/12 at 12:25

superb article. No one can ever give enough thanks in their lives.

Have a great Thanksgiving everyone.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/22/12 at 1:34

Yes indeed, I am thankful that there are still some people in the United States that has any reaon or reasons to be thankful.

I am above all thankful for the grace of God and for being born during WWII. It was this generation who reaped the harvest of an unscathed industrial country. If our parents were the greatest generation, we were the "luckiest" generation.

This was the generation that could earn middle class wages by being motivated to work.

I am thankful that I have been able to provide my chil
dren and my grandchildren so far, a life that resembles the one enjoyed by my generation.

What was once available for nothing now is only available to the top 2%. The rest of America is "root hog or die"

By: bfra on 11/22/12 at 6:05

Raspy - What was once available for nothing now is only available to the top 2%. The rest of America is "root hog or die"
I am thankful that the only contact I have with anyone of your attitude is on this board. You must be a very spiteful, envious & jealous person.

To everyone else, Happy Thanksgiving & hope you have a wonderful day.

By: Loner on 11/22/12 at 6:34

Good morning, Nashville.

I am thankful for the Nashville City Paper, its comment boards and the diversity in its posting community. I like the way the comments are minimally filtered and appear instantly. I appreciate the fact that our host allows freedom of expression on controversial topics. I'm grateful for the fact that this site is free and is free of annoying pop-ups etc.

I am thankful for being born in the USA; where we tend to take our domestic tranquility for granted, Hundreds of people in the Gaza Strip are homeless right now, their homes having been reduced to rubble by the Israeli Air Force.

I am grateful for my good health and for my family...and last but not least, I am grateful for my old hound dog, buddy.....no matter what, Buddy is right there to support me....you can't ask for more than that.

Happy Thanksgiving!

By: Loner on 11/22/12 at 6:36

Postscript: Nice letter, Mike....I agree, we have much to be thankful for.

By: govskeptic on 11/22/12 at 7:29

Excellent day to give Thanks for many many things, especially one's health and
that of their families, and leave the Politics for another day and occasions.

Best of this day and everyday to everyone!

By: Rasputin72 on 11/22/12 at 8:06

I want to add that I am grateful to have been born at a time that I could witness the rise of the Israeli nation. I am glad that as a very young man in 1967 I witnessed Israel defeating every Arab nation in 7 days.

I am thankful that the Israelis do not allow LONER to post his tommyrot on their websites

I am grateful that in 12 years of public school I never remember being asked to read or write or use the word diversity. Diversity is not a bad thing until it gets tangled up in a democracywith umpteen different diversities.

"There were those of my generation who lived their entire lives in Camelot." I was fortunate to have been one of them."

I am thankful ,oh so thankful that I was able to grow up and prosper during the golden age of the USA. I am thankful that the dollar is still a vaccine against the 47% who are bringing this country to its knees.

By: Ask01 on 11/22/12 at 8:39

I also am very thankful to be living here, in Nashville, Tennessee, the United States of America.

We have our collective societal problems, usually met head on, in public, on display for all to see, and not hidden from the rest of the world.

For the most part, this board does generate, I believe, productive conversation. The Tennessee legislature, all political affiliations aside, could probably learn valuable lessons about ignoring the one trick ponies expressing singular agendas, derailing discussion of actual issues.

To all I wish a wondeful Thanksgiving and encourage everyone to contemplate all for which they are thankful.

During my assignment overseas, we held a Thanksgiving gt together at our unit and I reminded everyone they all had something for which to be thankful, even if that was only a DEROS, translated from the miltary, a Date of Estimated Return from Over Seas. (Some were not as happy as I to be there.)

With that in mind, I once again urge everyone to discover at least one thing for which they are thankful.


By: dargent7 on 11/22/12 at 8:49

I am thankful I was able to get OUTof Nashville,Tenn., and the entire Southern region of the United States.
Talk about dumb.... And rude. And self-righteous. My God, people!
The locals can be friemdly, once they know you.(takes 6 months, minimum).
The city is enshrined in hyporites.
Proud to be a RED state.
Proud to be a "conservative Christian" Republican state, even if everything flys in the face if reason, logic, and common sense.
Spends valuable resourses and time on the most idiotic legislation: "guns in bars", guns in employee locked car trumks, guns in parks, chicken coops in every yard. Say No to sex education, birth control, teaching Evolution...all those Sarah Palin qualities. Say, YES to war(s) regardless of merit.Vote to have the military budget hit and exceed $ 1 trillion each and every year.
OWS protestors were summed up to be drug addicted rapists
I DO thank God and His Son Obama waxed Romney & Cos. rear end, decisively. No question about the 2012 election.
We'll play the game again in 2016 but Obama's success is fully cemented.
San Jose, by the way, was just voted to be #1 in "green cities" and #1 in "Healthiest City in America".
Nashville gets #1 in corruption, student UNderachievement, and a host of other lame-brain attributes.
But, they're a proud people.
I really enjoyed TCP over the past 6 years. I'll check in from time to time.
The Huffington Post blows it away.
Oh, I almost forgot, Happy Thanksgiving.

By: govskeptic on 11/22/12 at 9:44

Way to go darge. You will fit right in nicely with those of the Golden State.
Sylvan Park and Dakota Ave. will be an academic void without you. I'm sure.
I can tell from the comments you are having a hard time adjusting from being
away from the state of milk and honey as wells as grits, but time will cure
that loneliness. Happy Thanksgiving.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/22/12 at 10:04

Darge,I cannot help but be both skeptical and in awe of a man that leaves Nashville headed for Key Largo and winds up in San Jose.

We each have our own way of pursuing and securing happiness. My wish to you is that you enjoy your life wherever it leads you.

By: Ask01 on 11/22/12 at 10:10

I empathize with you, darge.

The location in which I had the misfortune to be born has degenerated to a nest of hypocrites and losers, all trying to reclaim past glories long lost when the textile industry went bust, leaving the area with little in the way industry.

They can still boast, somewhat pointlessly, of being a major NASCAR circuit stop, but their only real function is as a bedroom community for the more prosperous and prgressive neighboring counties.

The largest city has no real reason for existing aside from being the county seat and operating the local lock up.

That said, I am thankful to be living in Nashville, even gripped by a shortsighted mayor and metro council, as this is, according to a map I saw, an island of sanity adrift in a sea of would be, wild eyed, racist secessionists. I am hopeful, once the GOP has no significant opposition with their supermajority, they will have no whipping boys when complaints arise about their inaction, eventually leading to their downfall.

I hope to be here to see what will be a historic event.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and enjoy California.

By: pswindle on 11/22/12 at 11:26

I am thankful for the peace of mind and the election of our President. I wish for each a "Happy Thanksgiving."

By: yogiman on 11/23/12 at 5:09

Well, it looks like Thanksgiving is a pretty good ID program. You all seem to say it like you've been feeling it all year. Now let me have my say: Barack Hussein Obama is not the first black president this nation elected. If so, where did he get his requirement from? His father, a Kenyan citizen foreign student, could not pass his citizenship down to his son making him eligible for that office. And at her age, his mother could not pass her American citizenship down to him if he was born in Kenya. Barry Hussein Obama is the first usurper in office.

I agree with you Rasputin72. You must have been born around 1940. I surprised my parents in 1930, so I well remember the Pearl Harbor incident. And I fully agree with you on Loner with his attitude toward Israel. Whether he likes it or not, they are our friends. And by the way, Loner, remember, Israel wiped a whole damn bunch of nations out in a week (ha, they thought Israel was weak). Think what they could do to you in a couple of minutes, heck, make that seconds.

bfra, how do you know "it's only on this board"? Ain't they got other sites in these computers over the rest of the world? Stupidity, or ignorance?

Ask01, I'm glad was born in Nashville but I was glad to be raised in a smaller town ( Gallatin, back then).

D7, because of your dissatisfaction of Nashville, we're glad to see you go. Hope you enjoy your life out yonder but keep you head down when you go under that Golden Gate Bridge. You know, with your attitude toward us 'sutherners' we don't want it knocked off.

And, pswindle, we didn't elect the current man in office, he usurped it.

And we should all that God for being here on this earth. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't be here tonight, would we?

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 6:33

Hmmm....turkey leftovers for lunch and a left-over Thanksgiving Comment Board for breakfast....must be that the NCP staff has the long weekend off?

Speaking of extended thank yous, check out the Rasp and the Yogiman....a couple of Jewish Israelis wannabes....shilling for the ancestral homeland of the Jewish race...denigrating any American who does not accept the Chosen People, Promised Land, Israel uber alles dynamic..... without useful idiots like the Rasp and Yogi, the nuclear-armed, militant, land-grabbing Jewish state concept would have died 65 years ago.

I suggest that these two trolls convert to Judaism, learn ancient Hebrew, make aliyah to Israel and then join the IDF...after doing the required tour of duty, ex-Americans are encouraged to return to the US, as dual US-Israeli citizens, to spy for their newly adopted nation....as a fifth columnist for Israel.

We have thousands of these "dual-citizens" spying for Israel in the USA right now....Rasp and Yogi would have plenty of company with those other traitors.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 7:16

L0NER........I spend the winter surrounded by the jewish rich from New York. They are part of the diversity that permeates this country. They steal from the weak minded and give a little to the poor. They are however very productive. I sometimes wonder how many of them are part of the 47%. I would imagine that the percentage is much smaller than the lercentsge of Jews in the USA.

I do not understand why you are bitter about the way they work the USA. They are no different than the Negroes who work the USA for their unfair share of the rock.

I only wish that the USA would encourage the Arab Muslims to stop being intimidated. bythe little Jewish state. Attack these Jews and show the world what happens when Muslims stand up to these Zionists.

The USA should promise to stay out of that war in exchange for a guatanteed oil supply at a fixed price. To the Jews, we should promise them that if they are pushed into the sea that we will set up Jewish camps in Bordeaux, north Nashville and Edgehill much like the Palestinians and urge them to assimilate with their neighbors.

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 7:31

Convert, learn Hebrew, make aliyah and join the IDF, Rasp....you got the right stuff: arrogance, bigotry, contempt, selfishness and deceit....you would assimilate into the Israeli culture very easily, Rasp.

By: dargent7 on 11/23/12 at 7:58

Blacl Friday:
Only 17 posts from yesterday?
As a side-bar, living in Sylvan Park was cool.
Very safe...we never locked our doors, windows, or car doors.
Then I met the guy who wrote "the book" on Sylvan Park at a book signing and he said it was a "dangerous neighborhood" with rampant thefts and home invasions...
I told him I was from Detroit and this place is as safe as it gets in America. He wanted to argue which was more crime ridden; Sylvan Park or Detroit!
Guess he didn't know Detroit has been #1 in murders for the past 25 years ( or top 5).
I've adopted the Giants and 49ers. Not a bad upgrade.
I hope Tenn. turns the corner on this archaic, antiquated Republican platform b.s. though I know you people won't.
Mittens and Lovey LOST the 2012 election and you'll keep trying to say he actually won in some paralle Universe.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 9:32

LONER.........I do not need to learn Hebrew in order to be a productive and highly competitive American. I developed my phlosophy of life from observing the jews who came to this country penniless after WWII and immediately decided that being a rural mail carrier was not a vocation that matched their desired lifestyle. (No offense to you of course)

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 9:42

Holocaust survivors as Rural Letter Carriers....that's a novel image, Rasp...are we on the cheap gin already?

No offense, of course....I'm simply concerned about your welfare....the homeless have an especially hard time on Thanksgiving weekend....no family...no friends....just a squeeze bottle of Grey Poupon and a fifth of cheap gin....and a public library PC and internet connection.....that and some well-worn fantasies...poor bastards.

I hope that your mail gets wet in your neighbor's mailbox...poetic justice, you ingrate.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 9:46

Dargent...........As long as the score is kept with money there will be people like me who could care less about the underclass and their infiltration into Sylvan Park or their takeover of the Democratic party.

I don't make the rules I just play by them. 100 years from now if there is a world the rules will still be the same. People will live by the Golden Rule. Whoever has the gold makes the rule. The rich will enjoy the good life and the poor and wretched will hate their guts.

It is a sad commentary indeed but I know that Christianity was birthed by a prophet railing against the rich.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 9:52

LONER........The human mind and spirit are an incredulous thing. If all else fails one can use imagination and wishful thinking as reality. It works well for you. (An observation that I hope is not offensive to you)

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 11:40

You need fresh schtick, Rasp; your Thurston Howell III impersonation is generating ennui....and ennui is anathema to lively discourse....every Rural Letter Carrier knows that and now you know too, Rasp.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 2:08

LONER........And unoe that a lively conversation is absent without passion. "What we have here is not only a failure to communicate",but a reason that too much diversity spells doom for democracy.

I think you are intellectual failure and you think that I am the only homeless person in the entire world that promotes the virtues of everything he is not.

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 2:35

The Rasp says: I think you are intellectual failure and you think that I am the only homeless person in the entire world that promotes the virtues of everything he is not.

Sounds like an insult combined with a confession. Weird.

Sounds to me like Rasp is admitting that he is homeless and that he is not the only homeless person in the entire world who promotes the virtues of everything he is not.

Yeah, Rasp, you're not the only homeless guy to fantasize that he is Thurston Howell III...there must several dozens of such individuals across the fruited plain....you are not alone, Rasputin...I concede that point.

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 2:45

As for my being an "intellectual failure", I have my shortcomings, but I do not consider myself to be a failure in the intellectual sense....I'll let my peers be the judge of that.

Any comments from the NCP posting community? Or is everybody out shopping?

By: Rasputin72 on 11/23/12 at 3:32

LONER.......It appears that it you,the man with all the socio/political cures for the entire world but only a meager pension to show for your own personal trevail through life.

Then of course you have me, a homeless reprobate who carries the banner for every family who thinks that you are one more full of shit ner do well.

You should only wish that you lived as well as this "homeless" reprobate.

We each have the curse of Don Quixote or on second thought perhaps only you.

By: Loner on 11/23/12 at 7:19

Yeah, cheap gin....bless his heart.

By: Ask01 on 11/24/12 at 12:02

Having and offering the cures is rather pointless when the patient refuses to accept any help. All too often, folks are not the least interested if they cannot see themselves benefitting.

I suspect Loner is a great deal like me; having enough to satisfy ones needs and wants, and even more importantly, a degree of self respect derived from having resisted, to use a "Star Wars" quote, "going over to the Dark Side."

I could have gone further, I suppose, but decided to play the game only to a point, prefering to show more concern for my fellow man than the accumulation of corporate wealth.

I've always loved the Biblical passage from the Gospel of Mark 8:36, King James version, "For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world but lose his own soul?"

Possibly too deep a thought for some, too steeped in religious doctrine for others, but as concerns an individuals general mental contentment and well being, a priceless point to ponder.

By: yogiman on 11/24/12 at 10:54

Well stated, Ask01,

I've made a comfortable living all of my adult life, but I've never had a desire to get rich and leave a fortune to my kids who wouldn't have to work for it. I had to work for mine, let them work for theirs.

I've known too many men my age that never worked a day in their life because of the wealth their parents left to them and most of the weren't worth the powder it would take to blow them to hell.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/25/12 at 7:32

I would guess rhat for every person that inherited wealth and are "not worth the powder to blow them to hell", there are 25,000 that were born with nothing and are "not worth the powder to blow them to hell."

By: parnell3rd on 11/25/12 at 8:35

I am thankful for the American's who 200 years ago kicked the British empire in the butt for the second time!
How about some props for General Andrew Jackson. Surely you libtards like him. He started the demoNcratic party.
But during the war of 1812 he drafted a muti cultrial/multi ethnic army and slughtered the British in New Orleans.
And our national anthem was written then! HORAY!

By: bfra on 11/25/12 at 4:03

Loner - Been away for the Holiday & just got back. Read your comments & Raspy's over blown comments. IMO you have an obsessed cyber stalker. He must be so full of envy & jealousy, he just couldn't contain himself any longer. I really found him to be quite comical at times. Hang in there Loner, we know who you are, the Rasp only offers his blow hard dreams.

By: Rasputin72 on 11/25/12 at 4:50

Bfra.....It is my understanding that misfits.cyberanythings,dunces,simpletons,the misguided,the tired,the hungry,the elitists,the agnostics,and those with their net worth in their pocket make up the 19 people who keep this forum alive.

By: bfra on 11/25/12 at 4:59

Raspy - You just described yourself to a tee! Most of us have a life & from what I understand, a very good life, much better than yours.

By the way, Palm Beach was fine for the Holiday, so was Miami.

By: Loner on 11/25/12 at 6:38

Just got back from my Sunday duties....thank you, Bfra, for those very kind words. Yes, I am very happy with what I have accomplished in my lifetime and I do not need the approval of the Rasp...all I really need is the approval of my old hound dog, Buddy.....and of course, people like you, Bfra.

By: yogiman on 11/25/12 at 7:16

Glad you had a good trio, bfra, I've reached that stage in life where I have no desire to go West past Lebanon, North past Hartsville, East past the Smokies or South past Murfreesboro. I don't want to take a chance on getting lost from home. Besides, my dogs would miss me because they wouldn't have anyone to argue with.

By: yogiman on 11/25/12 at 7:19

Hit the wrong key... meant trip. Darn this dog... she hit my arm.

By: yogiman on 11/25/12 at 7:30

Well, Mike, if you think you've met friendly people in Nashville, you should move to Gordonsville. There ain't none no better.

I never got the chance to go visit Europe in my service days. I was a "Pacificarite" in the Navy. Just wondering: Was that the hospital where Barry was born I went to in Hawaii? I believe t had a different name back in the 50s.

I did get to "visit" several islands from San Francisco to Korea back then. Aah, them wuz the good ole days.

By: yogiman on 11/25/12 at 7:44

Correct me if I'm wrong, Rasputin72,but to me you don't seem to be too egotistical about your wealth even though most on this board seem to have that attitude. Could it possibly be because they might be jealous of your wealth? All I've ever wanted in life is a comfortable living and to give my children a comfortable living. To each his own. I believe I could have accumulated a "pile" of money if I had wanted it. I have known men in my life that were egotistical about their wealth but most of them inherited it, not earn it.