We Still Have Much to be Thankful for

By: Craig Chamberlain

Yes, to hear the wailing from the media, and the doom and gloom that has gripped most Americans, you would think that the country is not only going through a rough patch but that things have never been worse in our entire history. Yes, things are shaky, but that really shouldn’t surprise anyone. Things usually are shaky. Human civilization tends to live on the razors edge, flirting with disaster.

While things could certainly be better(when couldn’t they?) Things could be worse, they have been worse. When the pilgrims landed in 1620 they faced a brutal winter, a harsh land, and certainly had no guarantee of success. They gave thanks to God that they survived that first winter. During the Civil War, when things were certainly worse than they are today, President Lincoln called for a day of prayer and thanksgiving to help see the union through the crisis.

Despite the economic turmoil we still have the largest, strongest, and wealthiest economy in the world. Yes, changes need to be made, reforms need to be implemented and we would like things to be going in the other direction, but the economic realities of today are hardly another great depression, in fact this is not even the worst economic turmoil since the great depression. The stagflation, and inflationary years of the 1970′s were worse than the problems of today. My grandparents grew up in the great depression. There’s no 25% unemployment, there’s no bread lines, there’s no risk of starvation.

I’m thankful for the soldiers who serve this country, who are away from their families so we can be with ours. I’m thankful that they do their job so well that we’ve not been attacked since 9-11, that Iraq is on the verge of victory instead of on the verge of civil war. I’m thankful for their sacrifices all over the world to serve and protect this country.

As bad as we think we have it we all know that things could be worse. How? the cynics might ask. Well, first of all we might not live in America. That would be worse. For all the troubles this country is going through, and all the faults it has it’s still better than any other country in the world. We should be grateful for that. We live in a country where war is half way around the world instead of on our doorstep. Most of us will be sitting down to a big meal this Thanksgiving. For some countries we eat more at one Thanksgiving meal than some people get to eat in a couple of weeks.

Now don’t misunderstand me. I am not trying to shame Americans into feeling bad that we have more than others. Americans have worked hard to make America the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Nor am I trying to sugarcoat anything. We have problems, we’ve had problems in the past and we will have problems in the future. All countries have problems. We are not measured by the fact that we have challenges to face, we are measured by how we face those challenges.

America is blessed even if many of us don’t realize it. And for that we should be thankful.

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