Americans - Count your many blessings
Over two centuries ago, some Pilgrims and Indians, and I believe Strom Thurmond, sat down together for a feast to celebrate their golden harvest.
They gave thanks for what they had.
I'm no historian, but I don't think they had electricity, or automobiles, or cable television, or even instant pudding.
But they were thankful for what they had, which, in retrospect, was very little but clothes on some of their backs and food to eat.
This country has come a long way since then. Too long perhaps.
This Thanksgiving season, we Americans would be wise to put some things in perspective. We have a lot to be thankful for, and we should be thankful, and act on our thankfulness, for more than 20 seconds during a prayer one day out of the year before we gorge ourselves silly.
First of all, we should be thankful we are Americans. We should kiss the bountiful soil beneath us every day that God has graced us to be born or live in the good old U.S. of A.
Our country is simply the greatest in the world, maybe the greatest this world has ever known.
We have this earth's mightiest military, chock full of men and women willing and very able of defending our country so that their countrymen can call their psychiatrist and moan about how unhappy they are on their cell phone.
We live under an ample blanket of security. Folks unfortunate enough to live in some parts of the world wake up scared every day, fearing that day will be their last, or more painful than the one before. While the events of September 11, 2001, shook us, we are still one of the safest places to live in the world.
Our citizens have more freedoms and rights than any country on earth.
There's a Nigerian woman who has been sentenced to be stoned to death for having a child out of wedlock. Here, some women have children out of wedlock because they were stoned. An Iranian college professor has been sentenced to die for having the audacity to question the way his government works. Rush Limbaugh is a big, fat millionaire for doing the same thing here.
We are the richest country in the world. We have an educational system that is free! We have the best doctors, lawyers, athletes, french fries and shopping malls in the world. We invented Kool-Aid!
And yet, we complain about how "unhappy" we are, how "that isn't fair," "that offends me," "why is this happening to me?" - wah, wah, wah. A horrible day for the average American is the greatest day ever for a Rwandan.
Besides our individual blessings - whatever yours may be - we all are blessed to live in this country. We should be thankful for that, and for all those before us who risked their lives so we can enjoy these freedoms and privileges. We won God's geographical lottery. Nobody on earth has it as good as we do.
Sunday, we sang "...count your many blessings, name them one by one."
If you truly counted them all, it would last well past Thanksgiving.
© Len Robbins 2001. Robbins is the editor of The Clinch County News and is a contributor to The Thomaston Times.