On behalf of all of us here at Denton Publications, let me wish you a happy, safe and thankful Thanksgiving holiday weekend.
In these rapidly changing times our culture is undergoing a massive transformation. In times like these it’s easy to find so many things about which to complain. All one needs to do is look around, pick up a newspaper, turn on the radio or TV, or log onto the Internet and you’ll find tons of material from which you can sing the blues. Complaining seems to be our most popular pastime these days.
We can’t take lightly the challenging economic times we find ourselves in at this point in time, but this weekend, as much as any weekend, we need to realize and reflect on all we have to be thankful for as we sit here in 2013 in this region, of this country still full of promise and opportunity.
Hopefully your Thanksgiving weekend was highlighted by a wonderful meal in the company of friends and family. Some of you may have lost those dear to you since last Thanksgiving and while it may be painful without them, be thankful for the good times you enjoyed with them while they were here and treasure those previous Thanksgiving meals when you were all together.
Not too many years ago, if you were unable to connect in person with all your love ones, as cross country travel was very expensive, what a task it was to just try a make a phone call. We had stationary, hard-wired, rotary phones with very expensive long distances charges. Many times the phone lines were so busy during a major holiday weekend that calls couldn’t get through and of course back then we didn’t have speed dial nor answering machines or voice mail, so you might have to try many times before getting through. Today with our “smart phones,” computers, tablets and social media we can not only send instant pictures and minute by minute details of events to distance family and friends but we can call them at will at almost any time or even “Skype” them in real time and carry on face to face conversations through a computer screen across the world if need be. Best of all the charges are either part of your plan or free.
Communication technology is just one of the many luxuries we should be more thankful for having as part of our lives. But go back even further than a few decades and think about the life and death dangers faced by the early settlers of our country, not all that many years ago. Today we complain about luggage fees and TSA lines while we stand in line to take a crowded jet across the country that will have us to our final destination in just a few hours. They traveled in wooden boats or wagons facing untold dangers at every turn. Loved ones on either side of a trip back then may have never known the outcome of a visit gone bad. Nor could they communicate any life changing events easily.
Complaining will always be a part of our lives regardless of what age we live in, but when put into the context of time, challenges and frustrations will be seen as hurdles to some and opportunities to others. We can look back to the past and we look ahead into the future, but each of us was given only one lifetime to live and this is the time and place we find ourselves. While some may long for the past and others can’t wait for the future make sure to take full advantage of the present. The opportunities you have today with family and friends may be very different by next year or even next week. Tomorrow will come soon enough and the regrets of yesterday can only be fulfilled today.
On this Thanksgiving 2013 count your blessings and cherish those you’ve been able to share it with. Regardless of your situation in life, hope and opportunity are out there. You may have to open yourself up to find them, but a truly thankful heart can always see things more clearly. Let’s all hope the unrest, wars, pessimism and doubt concerning our future can be replaced with peace and optimism when we realize and give thanks for the many wonderful blessings we enjoy at this time and in this place. Let’s hope that as a society we take greater stock in what we have to be thankful for instead of fighting and stressing over the things we don’t or won’t have in the future. Life is so short and regrets can build up over the years. Don’t wait until it’s too late to appreciate the many blessings in your life.
Let me also take this time to thank all of you who read this column and our publications. We appreciate your support and the many calls, emails and letter of support you’ve sent over the past year. We intend to work hard to continue earning your support. Happy Thanksgiving.
Dan Alexander is associate publisher of New Market Press and publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.