COLUMN: Let's take time for thankfulness

Randy Gibson

This week we will celebrate Thanksgiving. Traditionally, families get together in large numbers and celebrate. Many travel long distances to be with loved ones. Last year, some families chose to limit who they were with, and some canceled their celebration of the holiday altogether.

Many in America are not happy. It seems that over the past several years, we have become so hardened we have lost sight of what it means to be human and show care and concern for others. Just this past week, there were many in Oklahoma who prayed, begged, and asked for clemency for Julies Jones, and Gov. Kevin Stitt listened. Still, that was not enough for some, and when they got what they requested, they wanted more. Interestingly, many of these same people are crying foul about the Kyle Rittenhouse trial and wanted to see that young man hung in the public square.

Here in America, we are facing atrocious inflation, a massively slowed down supply chain, and a worsening energy crisis. Politicians on both sides of the aisle in D.C. continue to bicker, and programs are not helping Americans or the strength of the country or the economy. Everyone is continuing to be mean-spirited, with no thankfulness or humility for what we have been provided.

I thought of the old Christmas cartoon, "How the Grinch Stole Christmas," which is about a mean-spirited being that despised Christmas and was going to make sure the Whos down in Whoville did not get to celebrate. He strained and struggled with a huge heavy sleigh all night, stealing decorations and gifts throughout the entire town, dragging them back to the top of Mount Crumpit. My mind painted a cartoon of politicians being like The Grinch, slithering through cities in their respective states stealing the turkeys, pies and holiday decorations. In reality, they steal peace, happiness and satisfaction.

However, if the people unite, they cannot stop the spirit of Thanksgiving any more than The Grinch could stop Christmas from coming. Thanksgiving is more than a day to overeat on turkey, dressing, dumplings and pie. Like the name of the holiday implies, it is a day of Thanksgiving – a day to be thankful for what we have. If we have food on our tables, a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs, we are actually more well off than a vast majority of the world. Worldwide, the average yearly income for a family is just over $9,700. Those in America who make more than $30,000 per year are some of the richest people in the world. We are truly blessed to live here, and we should be thankful.

In the past few years, social media has become a cesspool of bitterness and hatred that has helped fuel a deep division in our nation. Like the Whos, we have control over our own pages. I wish we, as a nation, would take the time to flood social media with positive statements and only post things for which we are thankful. We would probably be amazed at how we would feel at the end of the week, and maybe we could lift up and encourage others along the way.

We hold the ultimate power in our own lives, and like the Whos, we can be thankful for the blessings we have and let the world know, and we can show the grinchy politicians, news media, and others wherever they are that they cannot keep Thanksgiving or any of our holidays from coming. Happy Thanksgiving! #GiveThanks

Randy Gibson is the CEO of RDG Communications and the former director of the Tahlequah Chamber of Commerce and the Texas State Rifle Association.

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