The Times West Virginian

Opinion

November 28, 2013

Pondering our precious blessings on Thanksgiving

We have reached another season and the celebrated day of Thanksgiving.

We Americans have long observed this special day as we annually pause to count our blessings and in gratitude offer our thanks for our bounty of freedom and prosperity.

Even the poorest in our land fare far better than millions of those who live a constant life of hunger, deprivation, oppression and uncertainty. We complaining and dissatisfied Americans often do not take time to count our benefits and assumed blessings that our citizenship offers.

Borrowing some points to ponder from an unknown author should result in a new awareness of our national, state and local blessings.

If we have food in the refrigerator, clothes on our back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, we are richer than 75 percent of this world. If we have money in the bank, in our wallets and spare change in a dish somewhere, we are among the top 8 percent of the world’s wealthy. If we awakened this morning with more health than illness, we are more blessed than the million who will not survive the week.

If we have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation, we are ahead of 500 million people in the world. If we attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death, we are more blessed than 3 billion people in the world. If our parents are still alive and still married, we are very rare, even in these United States.

If we can hold up our head with a smile on our face and are truly thankful, we are blessed because the majority can, but most do not. If we can hold someone’s hand, hug them or even touch them on the shoulder, we are blessed because we offer a healing touch.

If we can read this editorial, we are more blessed than more than 2 billion people in the world who cannot read.

In our discouragement, disappointment, poor health, financial difficulties, etc., we still have the above-mentioned blessings for which to be thankful. Shared gratitude produces a bountiful harvest of attitude, self-esteem and awareness of our many blessings.

In the midst of governmental turmoil, international upheaval, financial uncertainty, religious persecution, and the uncertainty of lasting peace, we nonetheless will find that the scales of blessing still drastically tilt in our favor on this Thanksgiving Day 2013.

A truly thankful heart is a giving heart. According to St. Augustine, “God loves each one of us as if there were only one of us.”

Shall we share our blessings with those less fortunate and, in so doing, enlarge our capacity for sincere gratitude and constant thanksgiving.

— Elton Slusser

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