Since I’m a tad lazy this time of year, as well as at other times of the year, I’ve trotted out the following, with updates, every Thanksgiving time since, well, what we should be giving thanks for on Thursday are immutable and not subject to the vagaries of new family or national worries.
Most of us have a great deal to give thanks for and those living in America who don’t feel they don’t feel thankful right now should reflect on what their national birthright has afforded them:
. We should give thanks that we are alive and, hopefully, healthy. If not healthy, we should give thanks that we live in the greatest nation on the planet in which to be sick. Our medical system is in the throes of upheaval with Obamacare and was far from perfect even before but it sure beats Bangladesh and it beats Britain’s NHS where the very sick are shuffled off to Bampton.
. We should give thanks even if we disagree with the designation of the United States as the greatest nation on the planet since, unlike your freedoms in many other countries, our borders are wide open and you should feel free to hop the next flight to Ethiopia or Somalia or Moldavia and revel in their attractions.
. We should give thanks that we have a roof over our heads, clothes on our backs, and food on our tables. If you are jobless at the moment and can’t provide the best of those amenities this year, give thanks that you can afford some and resolve to work harder in 2011 so that you will afford more next year.
. We should give thanks that we have a political system which allows us to alter our government, as we did on November 2nd, and far more radically on November 4th, 2008, without a revolutionary uprising which in other nations frequently results in death and destruction.
. We should give thanks to God Who made all that possible by guiding our Founders to create a free, independent democratic republic which has served us very well for over 200 years.
Millions on God’s Green Earth can’t give thanks for any of the above.
We all may not be able to have a roof that doesn’t leak or be able to afford the latest fashions or be able to set a Thanksgiving table comparable to that in the White House, but we Americans all share a rare uniqueness on Thanksgiving Day.
As hokie as it is, we share the freedom to share, an inalienable right to revel and celebrate, a God-given privilege to stuff ourselves if we wish and to share our blessings with those who are not as fortunate.
In recognition of He Who made it all possible for Americans to have this beneficence, a prayer of thanks to God might be a nice gesture before we attack that tryptophan-laden turkey, that fatty stuffing, those creamy veggies, those delectable desserts and sweet cordials that will spike our triglicerides.
Thanksgiving Day should also be a day to reflect on what could be, on what may lie ahead for family and country.
I hate to rain on anyone’s Thanksgiving Day Parade but who knows on Thursday, November 25th what’s in store for November 26th?
At least we do know that Christmas Day will be here in another month!
Maybe it’s best not to even think about anything else and just enjoy Thanksgiving and thank God for what we have.