November Editorial Winner

Be Thankful: Thanksgiving time means taking nothing for granted

JEFF MULLIN, Enid News & Eagle

It's that day again, the day for turkey, stuffing, pie, parades, football and awkward family conversation — a cease-fire in the annual holiday war between crass commercialism and the true meaning of Christmas.
It is Thanksgiving.
We know how it started, inspired by a long-ago meal shared by the pilgrims and their new friends the Wampanoag Indians, in gratitude for the Indians not letting their pale-skinned neighbors starve to death in their new but unforgiving home.
We know it has been an annual tradition since the Civil War, so proclaimed by Abraham Lincoln.
We know it is a day on which we blow our diets sky-high, eating early and often, topping the festivities off with just one more piece of pie before bed.
But do we ever really give thought to what it means to be thankful?
Sometimes there doesn't seem to be much for which to be thankful.
The economy's a mess, Republicans and Democrats continue to get along like tomcats and pit bulls, the Middle East is threatening to explode, we're still fighting in Afghanistan and the nation is inexorably rolling toward a fiscal cliff.
But if you are loved and love someone in return, be thankful. If you have a job, be thankful. If you have a reasonable measure of health, be thankful. If you call someone friend, and they return the sentiment, be thankful. When you walk into a public building with no fear it will be bombed or struck with a missile, be thankful.
When you go to the church of your choice, to worship under the teachings of the faith of your choice, be thankful. And if you choose not to worship any God, under any doctrine, be thankful for your right to do that, too.
For those who have taught you, mentored you, corrected you, guided you, be thankful.
For friends, acquaintances, colleagues, clients, customers, and all fellow travelers on this little blue ball we call home, be thankful.
For the freedom to be, do, work, play and live wherever you choose, be thankful. For the ability to vote for the candidates of your choice, whether they win or lose, be thankful.
For the fact you live in the greatest nation on the planet, be thankful.
For the fact you are spending one more day on the green side of the grass, be thankful.
For sunrises, sunsets, spring rains, winter snows, blue skies and gentle breezes, be thankful.
On this, our national day of thanks, take nothing for granted, consider nothing to be owed you, don't overlook the inherent magic of a single seemingly ordinary thing.
Be truly, deeply, thankful, which means humbly acknowledging your life would be a miserable, screwed-up mess without the blessings you normally spend little or no time thinking about.
And then have some more pie.