Archive for Thursday, November 24, 2005

Simple blessings

Americans always seem to want more, but today is a good day to consider how much we already have.

November 24, 2005

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America is a nation of competitors. It probably is appropriate that on the most American holiday of Thanksgiving, many families will spend considerable time watching professional football teams compete on the field.

We want to win. We want the new thing, the better thing. We want more.

And so, on Thanksgiving, maybe it's time to suspend our competitive spirit a bit. Instead of thinking about all the additional things we want to do or acquire, perhaps we should take a few minutes to consider everything we already have.

The really important stuff in life isn't available at any store. It's family, a really good friend, sunshine and the kindness we show to others and they to us. A little essay in the Annie's Mailbox column in today's Journal-World is a reminder that blessings can be found in everyday things, even those we often find annoying. It notes, for instance that we should be thankful for laundry because it means we have clothes to wear and for the taxes we pay because it means we have jobs. Even that infernal alarm clock in the morning reminds us we're still alive and have been given another day.

Thanksgiving is a time to reach out to family, friends and people we don't even know. But it's also a time to pull back and look within. Put down the cell phone and turn off the television. Look at the people around you and think about how much joy and entertainment they bring to your life.

Look at all the possessions around you and consider what you'd have left if you lost them all. Many victims of natural disasters that have struck the United States in recent months have had to face that challenge. They found that the kindness of family, friends, and even strangers, along with their own spirit and inner strength were more important than any material possessions.

Sometimes, it's good to get down to basics. Most of us have way more than we need, and yet we take it for granted and continue to focus on how to get more. It's the American way, but on this holiday, we all may find a little inner peace and satisfaction by turning our spirit of competition down a notch or two and considering the simple blessings that enrich our lives on Thanksgiving and every day.

Happy Thanksgiving.

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