Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Thanksgiving Action

I saw a marquee in front of a business the other day that read, “Thanksgiving is an action.” I got to thinking about tomorrow, which is Thanksgiving Day, and what it really means. After watching this video titled In the Spirit of Thanksgiving, I started thinking about how grateful I am.

My first thoughts turned to my wife, my children, and my extended family members. My wife is truly one of the finest people I know. She is certainly my superior in everything that is really important. My children are wonderful individuals.

Both my wife and I count ourselves very blessed with excellent in-laws. My Mom and my Mom-in-law are both fantastic people. Although my Dad and my Father-in-law both passed away in recent years, I will forever be grateful for each of these great men and what they have meant in my life.

Next my thoughts turned to all of the non-family people that have had a positive impact on my life. I will always have a special place in my heart for my Scoutmaster. I had no clue at the time what he was sacrificing so that he could serve us boys. I likewise owe a permanent debt of gratitude to the Boy Scout camp director that hired me to work at Camp Loll years ago.

There is the lady that I barely knew that went out of her way to give me a career changing opportunity. I had friends that helped me make good choices during my youth. There are those have worked to give me educational opportunities. It is impossible to count the people that have actually cared about me enough to make a difference in my life.

I have been blessed with countless opportunities. I live in a beautiful area surrounded by mountains that I love. A short bike ride from my home brings me to spectacular back country adventure. It sometimes amazes me to think that people pay money to vacation in places half as beautiful. I live in a great neighborhood with good neighbors.

Though I have Multiple Sclerosis, my health has been reasonably good. I have been able to live a fairly active life. I live in a time when advances in nutrition and health knowledge and capabilities have permitted this.

In the current economic climate, I am grateful to have a decent job. (Although it is impossible to say how long that will last.) I have a decent home. We have plenty of everything we really need, and plenty of non-necessities that improve life.

I almost didn’t mention what to me is the greatest blessing of all — my relationship with God — because it is very personal and is almost too sacred to share in this type of venue.

Like the one fellow in the video, it would take hours and hours to list all of the things for which I am grateful. I hope that as I celebrate Thanksgiving this year, I will do so by actively giving thanks.


Charles D said...

Indeed we have a lot to be thankful for, and I hope you and your family have a great holiday.

I happened to hear Sean Hannity yesterday giving advice to his listeners on how to confront one's liberal relatives over the Thanksgiving table and was appalled. I have family members and friends who don't agree with my politics, but it seems that at least during the holiday season, we could rejoice in the blessing of having family instead of trying to trump their political arguments over turkey dinner.

Thanksgiving is a time for coming together and that's something we need to do not only at the family level, but in our communities and in our nation. We need to think about what we treasure about family, community and our country and what we hold in common. As we make a few little compromises to keep the peace over a shared meal, we could consider making others to strengthen those wider relationships that are so vital to our well-being.

Scott Hinrichs said...

Thank you for the holiday wishes. I wish you and yours joy during this holiday season as well.

I have never been able to get into the Hannity style because it is essentially an enemy based approach. Frame the opposition. Define it in a way that makes it appear bizarre to your target audience. (Dehumanization) Then proceed to set up a ceaseless struggle against the (inhuman) 'enemy.' Note that it then becomes essential to one's position to keep the 'enemy threat' fresh and powerful. Orwell defines this in his novel 1984.

People of various political stripes use this tactic. I dislike it. As you state, the holidays are a time to focus on what unites us. In most cases, there is far more that unites us than divides us. If you want unity in your family, it's best to consider the factors that unite the family members at gatherings. My family is far more important to me than my political opinions.