Giving Sincere Thanks
I'm thankful to live in a nation where free speech is still protected almost all the time -- and when it isn't, there are people brave enough to speak out against the suppression.
I'm thankful to live in a nation whose people, despite too often being self-absorbed and politically dormant, have always awoken to defend American ideals when confronted with sufficient injustice -- and in a nation where the people's voice, in the end, always prevails.
I'm thankful to live in a nation with plenty of food, clean water, health care, good teachers, and competent health care -- and to be one of those who receives them.
I'm thankful to live in a land that still fights its civil wars with words, not with guns, where "the other side" can be found on the Letters to the Editor page and our children need not fear the janjaweed.
I'm thankful for technologies, from the hand-cranked presses of Ben Franklin to the hand-typed blogs of today, that let us share ideas and outrages and empower the intangible ideas our Constitution proposed.
We all know that every one of the things I give thanks for falls short. Sometimes there is suppression of dissenting voices; the blessings that God gave America are not shared by everyone, let alone shared equally; there are children today in America and around the world who will be hungry, who will be sick, who will be afraid. There are people still fighting to find a voice.
But while we pledge to struggle to correct these things, let's be thankful for what we do have, and for the certain knowledge that we still live in a nation where the possibility of remedy exists. In toto, there IS ENOUGH food here to go around; there are enough doctors; people still value free speech and democratic government. Not every place has enough. The fact that we do makes our job easy.
So: thank God we live in America. Thank God we have good work to do. God Bless America. And God bless everyone -- here and elsewhere -- who does not have enough today, and help us make that better.