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One Moment, Please... What are you thankful for?


Fri, Nov 22nd, 2013
Posted in All Commentary

First, happy Thanksgiving to all of you who will be enjoying a day off from work on Thursday, November 28, 2013. And, second, I am saddened to see the devils of Retail Corporate America shamelessly working their employees on an important family day. My hope is that the vast majority of consumers will have enough sense to leave “Black Friday” until Friday. Spend time with your families, I say. We don’t get enough of that quality time as it is.

OK, now that I’m off my soapbox, I will give my full attention to what I really wanted to talk about today.

As we approach our day of Thanks, I’d like to reflect on some things that I think get lost in the gravy of our annual feast.

What are you thankful for?

About two weeks ago, our two children brought home an optional project from school. They were both excited, so I took a look at the piece of paper they were waving in my face.

This project posed the question: What are you thankful for?

On one side of the paper, there was an explanation that students were to write a few paragraphs or draw a picture that shared what they were thankful for. On the other side was a free space for the students to express their thoughts in writing or with an illustration.

And, this entire project was sponsored by Bluff Country Computer Works and Harmony Telephone Company. Kudos to them! They were giving away an iPod Touch to one lucky kid with their name pulled from a drawing. Honestly, thanks again to them for providing a prize to whomever wins the drawing, but more importantly thanks to them for sparking a conversation that I hope everyone has with their children between now and Thanksgiving.

“What are you thankful for?” I asked them. Olivia wrote a story and Landon drew a picture. And both of them gave the answer I was hoping would appear before my eyes. Family. They both indicated that family was what they were most thankful for.

As we are enjoying our Thanksgiving feast, I think it is important to realize that we are all very fortunate. Yes, some have it better than others, and likewise, some have it worse than others. But, no matter how bad of a day we may be having, just remember that somebody else is having a much worse day. And, somebody else may have ongoing lifelong challenges that we will never face in our lifetime.

What we perceive to be our worst day ever may not be as bad as somebody’s every day. Look at the survivors crawling out of the devastation caused by the recent typhoon that blasted the Philippines. They will have many challenging days ahead, more than most of us will ever experience in our lives. Some of those survivors have lost everything, but they still have their family. And, there are those who have lost everything including their family. Nothing replaces family.

I hear people talk about disappointments in their lives; how things don’t go the way they would like them to. But, that’s a part of life. Trials and tribulations will test our character, and they present an opportunity for us to prevail with a better understanding of ourselves and the world around us.

For this Thanksgiving, I hope all of us realize just how lucky we really are as we spend time with our families.

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