I am thankful today that there are thousands of brave young men and women halfway across the world risking their lives so that I can write this column. Obviously they are putting their lives on the line for much more than this small, simple item. But for each of us it boils down to one precious freedom. These brave young men and women deserve to be utmost in our minds and hearts this Thanksgiving season.
We each in our own way detail a list of people and events for which we are thankful. We certainly don't always put pencil to paper and itemize our lists but we put them in our hearts and our minds and our souls. And then each of us in some manner or another should give thanks for these blessings both large and small.
Like most of you perhaps, I complain far too much about problems or issues in my life. I yearn for too much and give thanks too little. But I'm actively and purposefully trying to look for those parts of my life that make me truly blessed. They're there if you just look.
The more I talk with people, the more I recognize that we all have our demons in life. Granted, some demons are more visible than others and some more petty than others. But no life is perfect and no life cannot stand some improvement. Yet despite those demons, most everyone can honestly give thanks today for some aspect of their life. And we should focus on those uplifting facets and work harder on addressing the demons.
As a community, we are indeed blessed. That does not mean there are not issues remaining that must be addressed for the good of the entire community. But progress is often measured in small steps. No one can say we are not making those small steps of progress.
As a state, we also have issues. But there is promise ahead. And in the end, promise is often all we have.
As a nation, we stand at a crossroads. Look at the faces of those currently in Iraq and you'll understand what is at stake. Progress is often measured by pain. How I wish that were not the case but unfortunately, it is. So today we give thanks that there are those willing to make the sacrifices essential for that change.
If you look hard enough, everyone of us will find some reason to give thanks. Ignore for just a moment those issues that take our attention away from more urgent and more important issues. And give thanks that we live in a society blessed with abundance in so many ways.
And one final note. It might not hurt if we gave thanks, not just on this special day or this special season. It might do wonders if we gave thanks every day for the blessings that come our way. It might actually do wonders.