On behalf of everyone here at New Market Press & Denton Publications, let me wish you a happy Thanksgiving.
In these rapidly changing times, our culture is undergoing a massive transformation when it is easy to find so many things about which to complain. 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 other time, we need to realize and reflect on all we have to be thankful for as we sit here in 2012. This country is still full of promise and opportunity.
Hopefully your Thanksgiving 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 year 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 to try a make a phone call. We had stationary, hard wired, rotary phones with very expensive long distances charges. Many times the phones lines were so busy over a major holiday weekend that calls couldn’t get through. We didn’t have speed dial, answering machines or voicemail, so you might have to try many times. Today with our smart phones, computers, tablets and social media, we can send instant pictures and minute-by-minute details of events to distant family and friends. Plus, we can call them at will from almost anyplace or even Skype them in real time and carry on face-to-face conversations through the computer screen across the world.
Go back even farther and think about the life-and-death dangers faced by the early settlers of our country. Today we complain about luggage fees and TSA lines while we stand in line to take a jet across the country that will have us to our final destination in just few hours. Our forefathers traveled in wooden boats or wagons facing untold dangers at every turn. Loves ones on either side of a trip 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. The regrets of yesterday can only be fulfilled today.
On this Thanksgiving, count your blessings and cherish those you’ve been able to share it with. Regardless of your situation, 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 blessing 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 rather than fighting and stressing over the things we don’t or won’t have. Life is so short and regrets can build up over the years. Don’t wait until it’s too late to appreciate our many blessings.
Let me also take this time to thank all of you who read this column and our publications. We are thankful for your support and the many emails and letters 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. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.