As we reach Thanksgiving day, we would like to wish a joyful day of happiness and thankfulness to all of our readers. On that note, I’ll just offer a few thoughts to those struggling with such an idea of gratitude in the realities of 21st-century America.
We have a plethora of things to be grateful for. No matter your personal situation, the one thing we are all still entitled to is hope. Hope for the future and the chance that events will deliver a result that works out in the end. Personally, I’ve faced some dark times in the past and endured a number of struggles. Most of you have as well. If not, I congratulate you on your lucky circumstances.
In the past, the country has faced dark times aplenty. This dates back to the uncertainty of our future as a nation through the revolution and the War of 1812. My grandparents were all born during the turn of the 20th century and lived through the great depression. My parents weathered the trials of World War 2 and lived to see the “Happy Days” of the fifties. We rise and fall and rise again, always somehow finding a way to muddle through.
But what keeps us all together as a society isn’t the people we elect to high office in Washington. The internet has ruined much of this, but the real world outside of our doors is what has made America a resilient, dominant force. We find happiness in our interactions with the people who keep us sane in an increasingly twisted world, even if we disagree with them on topics of the day. Blood remains thicker than water, but we also find communion with those who fill our lives in our own communities and we still retain the ability to select our old friends if not our family members.
The great experiment that is America only works as long as we are more than the sum of our parts. And America has always been that. We can disagree without being disagreeable, as my friend and mentor Ed Morrissy has often said. And nothing going on in the political circus today changes that. Participate in our grand democratic experiment, but more to the point, participate in your families and social circles and ensure that the next generation has the chance to realize that their parents were probably not as dumb as we thought they were.
I’ll close with an excerpt from a poem from Ella Wheeler Wilcox. Whether you are liberal or conservative, some wisdom may be found here.
We walk on starry fields of white
And do not see the daisies;
For blessings common in our sight
We rarely offer praises.
We sigh for some supreme delight
To crown our lives with splendor,
And quite ignore our daily store
Of pleasures sweet and tender.
Our cares are bold and push their way
Upon our thought and feeling.
They hang about us all the day,
Our time from pleasure stealing.
So unobtrusive many a joy
We pass by and forget it,
But worry strives to own our lives
And conquers if we let it.