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ISSUE: Thanksgiving Day
OUR VIEW: This great nation is blessed
It’s here again, Thanksgiving Day. A date on the calendar of our lives on which we are to individually and collectively reflect upon and give thanks for all that is meaningful to us. A day set aside to recognize the blessings we too often overlook and take for granted the other 364 days of the year.
It seems again this year, though, there’s more an attitude of discontent than thankfulness among many in the nation.
During this season intended for appreciation and acknowledgement, thousands in cities across the country have taken to the streets in protest of … well, of a long list of disjointed complaints about all sorts of advantages and opportunities they see others having.
Economists tell us that, statistically, our country is limping along in recovery from the recession of the past several years, but still predict an economic outlook for 2012 that will be soft at best. Unemployment remains high, along with food and fuel costs, as the average family continues the same belt tightening that has become an all too familiar necessity to make ends meet.
Our government leaders seem to be more concerned with political one-upmanship and score-keeping against those on the other side of the aisle than with resurrecting the degree of statesmanship required but absent to solve our nation’s domestic and foreign problems.
With all this disgruntledness, disquiet, and disheartening circumstances in motion, is there anything we can focus our thankful thoughts toward? Without question there is.
Although the national argument continues about who has what and how they got it, the fact is even those among us who have the least are rich beyond measure compared to others around the globe. While individual rights and privileges are compared, contrasted, clarified and confused in the national discourse, we enjoy freedoms of which others only can dream and sometimes lose their lives pursuing.
While turmoil rages in the streets of other nations as civil war and revolt throws power from the hands of displaced dictators into those with questionable intent or clearly identifiable malice, we are blessed with a political process that allows for peaceful yet enthusiastic debate and change. Where intolerance and forced ideology exists elsewhere, we’re endowed with an individual and collective freedom to determine for ourselves if and how we will worship and serve God.
Where weak or nonexistent opportunities exist to better oneself, we’re blessed with educational resources to teach, train and implement the brightest minds against the challenges of this and future generations. Where no document of emancipation and law exists to protect the weakest of its society, ours is a land blessed with a Constitution that undergirds our individual rights to pursue life, liberty and happiness, and with fierce warriors who voluntarily stand firm against the enemies who endeavor to tear our nation apart.
Today, though we may disagree with one another on so many other things, let’s be in one accord in expressing thankfulness for the opportunities this great nation affords to those who are willing to match its freedoms with individual assertiveness and effort.
This editorial represents a consensus of The News-Enterprise editorial board.