A Time For Thanks
It seems we can’t read or listen to the news without seeing or hearing talk of war, political scandals, natural disasters, and an economy on the brink. Few speak of the blessings they enjoy.
Some voices are asking — is THIS a time to be thankful?
I believe the answer is a resounding “YES”! Here are only a FEW of the reasons why.
You are reading this on a computer connected to the Internet. In contrast, many countries will forever deny or seek to severely limit and censor their citizens’ ability to do what we do everyday -sign on and read email – for fear that truth will set them free.
The sheer fact that you are reading this article means you are better off than 2 billion (yes- that is a “B”) citizens of planet earth who can’t read. If you know, right now, where your next meal will come from you are better off than an estimated 25% of children living in America.
The rates for other countries are staggeringly high. In these things and more, most of us are privileged in ways that others only dream of.
The Internet itself is a reason for great thanksgiving. It may seem cliche, but the fact remains that in no other time in the history of the world has it been easier to open your own business and change your circumstances.
For many the Internet is not a convenience, but rather the only way out of desperate circumstances.
A computer programmer in one of the formerly Communist countries of Eastern Europe found his way out of poverty by selling his services cheaply over the Internet. Providing excellent customer service and thankful for the opportunity itself, the income he earns makes possible such “luxuries” as proper medical care and a steady food supply.
While the average per capita income in his country remains under what many in the U.S. pay for housing alone, he eclipses that number and is building a future for himself and his extended family. We in America view Thanksgiving as a one-day event, yet one can guess that it’s Thanksgiving everyday in his home.
If you live in America, your Constitution guarantees you life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. You have rights. You have the right of free speech, the right to peacefully assemble and to protest.
Students in Tian’anmen Square made the ultimate sacrifice on June 4th, 1989 in an attempt to gain for themselves a right that we in America have enjoyed for over 200 years. We move freely from state to state with no border guards. We are free to worship as we choose. We have access to our elected officials. If we don’t like something they do, we can vote them out of office.
For these things we should be grateful indeed, because they ensure our continued freedom and ability to determine our own fate.
Our world encourages us to be competitive, to win. These are necessary traits if we are to progress. Progress is necessary and good. Yet the siren song of business, the desire for double digit growth and the constant comparisons of ourselves to others often cause us to forget that we have so much more than we think.
We must not let the speed of the Internet or the constant demands of our business life steal our sense of well-being and appreciation for the people in our lives.
Make no mistake, real tragedies occur. No amount of “happy thinking” will change that reality.
Business success will always take hard work and long hours. Success itself will always be a collaborative effort. There will always be thieves online who promise easy riches and deliver only disappointment. Grieving people will always require time to heal.
Genuine gratitude, however, to God and those around us, will speed our healing and bring comfort while we heal.
As the year draws to a close, it is appropriate for us to count our blessings and be thankful.
If you are having difficulty finding your blessings, try starting with these simple questions:
- Do you live free today?
- Does someone love you today?
- Are you part of a family?
- Have you heard children’s laughter?
- Can you choose your own actions today, tomorrow and beyond?
The more you think, the more you will realize that you are blessed indeed.
When we harbor the illusion that we can change the future, and allow our thoughts to stay there, we forget the joys of today.
The great gift we all share is today. You can make choices today. You can love your family and friends today. You can share a smile today.
Today is the gift.
As we rush headlong into the holiday season the days seem so short. Yet now is perhaps the best time to express our thankfulness to those around us.
In this, the season of giving, let us pause to remember those who we are thankful for.
From giving something as simple as a smile to a co-worker to surprising your spouse with a spontaneous gift to show your love, let us each commit to brighten someone’s life this very day.
Now more than ever we must pause to count our blessings. Count yours today and every day and you will find that you are rich indeed.
P.S. I want to take this moment to thank you. Many reading this are customers and friends. Some reading this are new to my site and only subscribed recently.
No matter whether our journey together dates back to the 90s or you are here for the first time, I truly appreciate the gift you are giving me of your time. I will always work hard to respect that gift and provide information and products of the highest value possible. Thank you for being a member, subscriber, reader, friend. May God richly bless you today and every day.