It is easy to be discouraged this time of year. Americans seem to be at war with each other over everything from politics to getting the COVID-19 vaccine to Critical Race Theory.
It is concerning that the COVID pandemic seems in a never-ending spiral, ending one day, blossoming the next.
We are caught in the Trump vs. Biden vs. None of the Above debate. We expect our elected officials to hew to their party’s line, with no deviation allowed.
Those on the right condemn the left, while those on the left trivialize those on the right. And those in the middle hang their heads and hope to avoid the crossfire.
Tensions are high among the races, with mistrust rampant in seemingly every quarter.
Inflation is high, supply chains are breaking down and Christmas shopping season is imperiled.
But as we pause this week to give thanks, it is good to remember that we have much to be thankful for.
We are thankful to live in America that, despite its many problems, remains a wonderful place to be. Many of our woes are problems because this is America, still a land that people of the world look to and seek to emulate.
For they, as Ronald Reagan so wisely said, see us as “a shining city upon a hill whose beacon light guides freedom-loving people everywhere”
In many parts of the world, our current problems are a fact of daily life. The fact we have to pay more for our Thanksgiving feast only means that many of us can have a Thanksgiving feast.
For people — here and abroad — who aren’t as blessed, finding enough food to eat is an everyday struggle. Hunger never goes away and the search for food consumes every waking moment.
The same is true of Christmas celebrations, which in America revolve around lighted trees and gifts — lots of gifts. As we scramble to find the perfect present — which may be sitting on a cargo ship off the West Coast — perhaps we should be thankful for the loved ones we have and be grateful for the physical gifts we do receive.
Of course, it is the gifts of family and friends, health and a solid roof over our heads that those who are so blessed should celebrate.
And the seemingly vast gulf that divides us in so many ways may be wide, but shallow. The political divisions we face may not be as great as we think.
Maybe if we listened — really listened — to each other, we might find that we have much more in common than we believe. We all want to live our lives in peace, to rear strong, healthy children and to love whom we love.
We want our governments to work for us, not seek ways to divide us. While there are many things that would be nice to have, and perhaps make our lives better, the question remains how do we pay for it all? Government overreach doesn’t help anyone.
And speaking of government, we are thankful that so many good people run for office, at every level, from federal to state to local. We are grateful for those choices and that our elections are fair and honest and we hope that we make it as easy as possible for all of us to vote for the candidates of our choice. And when it is time to vote, we can be proud to vote for who we think are the best candidates.
At this time of year — and throughout the entire year — we are thankful for our men and women in the military who stand ready to protect all of us and our way of life.
Locally, we are thankful for a capable and caring medical community. Doctors, nurses and others in the health care business have gone above and beyond what is expected in the past few months, working to ensure the health and safety of the community.
We are grateful for the first responders who, day in and day out, work so hard to keep us safe and well.
We are thankful for our teachers and other school personnel who have worked to keep our children learning under difficult circumstances.
We are thankful for each other, whether we have been here for generations or are new to our community. We think this is a wonderful place to live.
And, here at The Eagle, we are thankful for our readers, our advertisers, our carriers and our staff, all of whom allow us to cover this community we all love.