Our liberty , our material bounty , our unexcelled opportunities , our science , our technology , our generosity as a people , the talents of our neighbors , the kindness we so often encounter , the natural splendor of our land , the humor that bubbles up constantly , traditions that guide us in productive directions , a dramatic lessening of much that used to afflict us , and so much more .
Even in the worst of times – no , especially in the worst of times – appreciation of our blessings is critical . Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 Thanksgiving proclamation came during the Civil War , the most bloody , awful years in American history , and so why , one might wonder , was he talking about ” fruitful fields and healthful skies ” about law and order being maintained during the conflict , about a growing population , enlargements of settlements and other ” gracious gifts of the Most High God ? ” An answer is that by doing so he was helping to keep people from losing themselves in contemplation of nothing but the painful , to balance the frightening with hopeful , to derive power from the positive , to push ahead .
It may well be that the United States is now facing one of the toughest economic periods we have known for a while . But I am convinced , nothing that hits us will destroy all that , and granting as much will help us recover . This Thanksgiving will itself be something to be grateful for if we really do turn our attention to the marvels of our time , our place , our lives , for here lies rejuvenation , a source of energy and inspiration .
Facing reality matters but , does not mean just facing what’s worrisome , but what’s encouraging .
HAPPY THANKSGIVING , everyone !