First, on behalf of everyone here at Denton Publications, let me wish you a happy 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 on to the Internet and you’ll find tons of material from which you can sing the blues. Complaining seems to our most popular pastime these days.
We can’t take lightly the challenging economic times we find ourselves in, but this weekend we need to reflect on all we have to be thankful for as we sit here in 2011 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 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 to make a phone call. We had stationary, hard-wired, rotary phones with expensive long distances charges. Many times the phones lines were so busy over a major holiday weekend that calls couldn’t get through. 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 ot 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 our computer screens across the world. 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 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 wait to take a jet across the country in just a few hours. The settlers, however, 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 placed in 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 ahead to the future, but each of us was given only one life to live. 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 with family and friends may be different by next year. Tomorrow will come soon enough. 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 give thanks for the many blessings we currently enjoy. 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 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 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 emails and letters of support you’ve sent over the past year. We intend to work hard to continue earning your support. Happy Thanksgiving.
Dan Alexander is publisher and CEO of Denton Publications. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.