Tahlequah Daily Press

November 21, 2012

There’s always something to be thankful for


TAHLEQUAH — Today, many families are already on the road, heading to the homes of relatives to celebrate the Thanksgiving holiday. Others are busy making favorite dishes to share with their loved ones, or are ratcheting up for this weekend’s Bedlam game. Some may have more philanthropic endeavors on their minds.

Whatever your destination or plans this Thanksgiving holiday, don’t forget to set aside a few moments to ponder the blessings you have. If none come to mind immediately, think about how you can make lemonade from your lemons – and be thankful that at least you have the lemons.

Thanksgiving is a uniquely American holiday, recalling a time when two groups of people were able to at least briefly set aside their differences and come together for the one activity in which every human being must eventually engage to survive: taking in sustenance. Gathering around a table is also a uniquely human experience – one not just associated with good health and camaraderie, but one also at the roots of many religious traditions.

Yet on this day that focuses so much on rich food and family ties, untold millions of people in the world will go hungry. These aren’t just folks in famine-stressed regions of the world, but right here in Cherokee County. And some, though they may enjoy a balanced meal, will do so alone – or at least, without those they love most at their sides.

Though the old saw is cliché, it’s also true: You don’t have to look far to spot someone who’s less fortunate than you. Admittedly, when times are tough, it’s sometimes hard to recognize it. And those of us who have so much should not only be grateful for our blessings, but we should share them, if possible, with those who have nothing.

Between now and the end of the year, make it a point to reach out to the less fortunate. Share what you have, whether it be cash, food, or simply a few moments of your time.

Talk to someone, or just listen. Smile more, and hand out a few hugs. And make amends with someone whom you’ve wronged, or someone who has wronged you.

In the wake of this most bitter political season, try to reach across the aisle and find common ground. Ignore the most partisan pundits and their destructive words, and recognize they’re not your friends; they serve only themselves.

Thanksgiving is about reaching across barriers to serve and care for others. We at the Tahlequah Daily Press wish you and yours a happy Thanksgiving.