Despite tough times focus on blessings

Freedom New Mexico

We gather today with family and friends at a difficult time in our history. The nation’s economy lags like it hasn’t since the 1930s. Thousands of Americans have lost their jobs, and many of those who are still employed worry that their positions also are in jeopardy. Then there are those families who have lost their homes to foreclosure, neighborhood businesses that have shut their doors due to the economic downturn and the morass of poor performance and hat-in-hand begging from the U.S. auto industry.

Some big brains last week explained why President-elect Barack Obama gave us something for which to be hopeful: the selection of Timothy Geithner as the next treasury secretary. Indeed, the stock market reacted very favorably to the announcement — a nearly 500-point surge Friday was more than welcome — and the folks at The Economist contended: “News of the Treasury nominee holds out the prospect of a more coherent and forceful approach to the crisis. The current treasury secretary, Hank Paulson, is reworking the $700 billion bailout plan on the fly.”

Yet we all know there are no certainties in life, and the future twists and turn of our nation’s fiscal circumstances are not immune from that fact.

So today we find inspiration and clarity from Friedrich Gottlob Koenig (1774-1833), a German inventor best known for his high-speed printing press, who said, “We tend to forget that happiness doesn’t come as a result of getting something we don’t have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have.”

So on this Thanksgiving, let us focus on our blessings, on family and friends, on our good health and on the gifts of liberty and freedom bestowed upon us all by the founders of our nation.

Let us be thankful for our benevolence, our charitable nature, and the promise of our youth. Let us be thankful that, after a nasty political season, we will experience yet another peaceful transfer of power; also, that we have finally fulfilled our promise that a candidate’s race will not be a hurdle to keep him from ascending to the White House.

And most important, let us be thankful for the men and women of our nation’s military, who toil daily to protect all of our freedoms and blessings.

We encourage consideration of the words of W.T. Purkiser (1910-92), a prolific writer and well-loved preacher in the Church of the Nazarene, who said, “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”

We are thankful for our readers, and wish them all a happy, meaningful and safe holiday.