Isn’t it amazing that almost every holiday has a song except Thanksgiving? What’s THAT all about?!? There’s even songs for The Great Pumpkin, thanks to Charlie Brown.
Why do we give Thanksgiving such short shrift? Thankfulness is one of the greatest qualities to have, as it means you realize how blessed you are. My theory is that if you have 1) peace with god 2) bread on the table 3) a roof over your head 4) a family who loves and respects you 5) a good reputation among your peers and 6) 4 good friends, then you’re ahead of 95% of the people on earth. If you’re not there yet, start working on this list! Still, the fact that you are still here above the ground means that there is still some hope for you. So, as we’ve done in the past, we’ll list some major reasons to be thankful…
1) We have Someone to thank! Can you imagine if there were no God? Who would be be grateful to? Aardvarks? Even worse-ourselves? Scary thought!
2) In America, the pilgrims DID NOT come here in 1620 for religious freedom, as most of the textbooks dictate. If you read the historical records of William Bradford, who came over on the Mayflower and was our first governor and historian, he states the reason was to make this country a Christian nation. Now, you may not like that fact, but Abe Lincoln once met with an ambassador from South America, and when asked the diplomat the difference between the two continents, he was told, “Our explorers came for gold; yours came for God, and that’s that made all the difference in destinies.”
3) Don’t like your religion? You can change it in America to whatever you want! Try doing that in Saudi Arabia, India or Pakistan! We have freedoms other people can’t even dream of!
4) After he served two terms, George Washington stepped down as President of the United States, and John Adams walked up to take his place. No coups, no bloodshed, no army showdown. The fact that our government can change that easily is a true gift from God.
5) Don’t like the government? Change it! When I was in Malawi back in the 80s, I was in a restaurant and asked the waiter “What’s going to happen when President Banda dies?” The place got quiet as a church, and the waiter had his eyes as big as saucers. “Please, sir, do not say these things,” he pleaded. “It’s not legal to discuss politics in this country.” Quit your belly aching!
6) Is our past perfect? Obviously, no-we’re sinful people! But even with things like slavery and civil rights, we look for where we fall short and work on correcting them. We fought a war to free the slaves. Brazil also had slaves, and they didn’t have to worry about freeing them because they killed them all. We have changed laws and hearts over equal rights for people, and do it by appealing to God, not to guns. Name another country that does that!
7) Even with Obama’s disastrous “Affordable (ha ha) Care Act” we still have the best medical care in the world. I’ve practiced and lived in other countries. In Italy, you wait ALL DAY to see someone for 2 minutes. In Greece, if you come out alive you’re ahead of the pack. I do medical missionary work all over the world, and although the world dislikes our politics, they come in droves for American doctors. Why? We tell the truth! What a concept!
8) No matter how poor you are, what family you came from, whatever your religion is, you have a fighting chance to do as well as you’re willing to work in the US. No caste system like in India, where you’re stuck impoverished the rest of your life, or like in the Middle East where your last name dictates if you’re going to be hired for a job. It’s based on performance here in the states. What a joy!
9) Want a drink of water? Put your lips up to a fountain for free! Try doing that almost anywhere else, and run to the nearest toilet!
10) We live in the country that has given us Gershwin, Ellington, Miles, Monk, Ella, Cash, Charles, Berry, BB King, Muddy Waters…how long a list do you want?
11) Disagree with your relatives over the Thanksgiving meal? Great! No one has to get shot!
12) Hey, if you’ve GOT relatives be thankful. Got a great wife, two wonderful daughters and a son-in-law who is the only one who could deal with my older daughter. Thank God for him! And my wife who tolerates me!
13) Can you read? Walk? Move? See? Hear? Breath and swallow without straining? Quit complaining! You can taste pizza, pasta, gyros, Thai food and buttered popcorn! Not to mention Pinks’ hot dogs!
14) Happy Thanksgiving!