We are in a period where many Americans simply don’t appreciate what we have. High school and university students being subjected to a total “poor me” mentality, where you can find someone who is offended with just about anything. We hear from the lips of these younger folks that the world is end-ing in months. Or it’s about ‘I’m not making enough money to live like I want to.

Too many people are acting outraged over the most minor things. We must ask, how did we get here?

I’ve been an avid reader of my local daily paper for over 30 years. Now, most days I simply go straight to the comics, sports scores, and Dear Abby. That’s because newspapers are simply full of poor-me stories, or some hate-filled diatribe about one political situation or another. But there is simply no news, just editorial and opinions. When did newspapers stop telling the news? I was unloading a box from storage and the items were wrapped in old newspapers from about 20 years ago. The difference in the content of the paper were incredible! Actual news about things going on the world. And sadly, the TV news shows are no better.

I try every day to be thankful. As I go through my activities, I start every morning being thankful. Thankful for waking up and being healthy enough to go to work. Thankful for having a fulfilling career and great teammates at my office who I enjoy working with. Thankful for my spouse of some 37 years, and a wonderful daughter. Thankful that I can travel, fulfilling some of my boyhood dreams. I am constantly amazed by the opportunities that abound if we merely reach out and grasp them.
Another thing….I am thankful for the small things we take for granted; that I have electricity, I have clean water when I turn on a tap or flush that toilet, and that I can just walk into a grocery store and the selection is incredible. Thankful that I have not only one, but two autos, washer and dryer, and gasp! A dishwasher! What do you take for granted?

During this period of the year when we turn our hearts to being thankful, let’s not forget the small things and the true bounty of this United States of America. And no matter our shortcomings, she is still a truly blessed nation.