We are living in tough times right now.  Economic indicators are not looking promising no matter what the powers that be want us to believe.  There is no surge of confidence that our governmental policies will rise up and save the day with the current problems we are facing.  Official unemployment numbers are around 10% but the real unemployment numbers including the people who have given up on looking for work is closer to 20%.  Taxes and government spending is higher than ever.  Foreclosures are up, bankruptcies are up, and times are tough for a lot of people.  Even with all of these problems we still have a lot to be thankful for.

Thanksgiving is a great time of year to be reminded of the need to be thankful.  Of the 110 Pilgrims that Thanksgiving is connected with less than 50 survived that first winter.  With help from the local Indians the Pilgrims were able to learn how to grow food in the difficult New England climate.  That first year’s harvest was plentiful and sufficient for the second winter and a celebration was held.  The Pilgrims were able to make their situation better in spite of the tremendous losses they suffered in the first few months in the New World.  We can do the same in these very trying times.

The most basic thing we have to be thankful for is life.  We have been given a wonderful body and mind that can work together to solve any problems we face.  Our mind is a powerful instrument empowered to solve many problems and our bodies can be used in productive labor to these ends.  At any point in your life you can work toward improving your situation.  You can work to change your life for the better.

We live in the United States.  Living in the United States has so many advantages over living in other countries.  Here we can complain about not getting enough whip cream on a banana split while people in many other countries don’t even know where their next meal is going to come from.  We have so much abundant and cheap food that obesity is epidemic in the United States while starvation and bare subsistence living is the rule in many other parts of the world.

We have so many varied and plentiful resources at hand that we can take advantage of.  There is more money, information, and opportunity flowing through this country than ever before.  The United States has problems with millions of people sneaking over the border to work and live here precisely because of the opportunities available in this country.  To compare: the only border China has issues with is the North Korean border.

Now is a great opportunity for rebuilding and creating new things.  With each of the difficulties we face there is an equal opportunity for growth, improvement, and something better.  The millions of people who are unemployed will have new opportunities forced on them that they never considered before.  The inventiveness and creativity of the American People is unparalleled and unequalled.  New businesses, new solutions, and new technologies will have their origins in these tough times.

The American People as a whole will begin to rediscover that what lasts is what matters most.  When times are tough people rediscover their families, their faith, and their true strength.  The American People are fighters.  We are not content to sit by and wait for someone else to make things better but will take charge and work to make things better.  We are a very resilient people who will see these challenges through to the very bright future on the other side.

We have so many things to be thankful for, even if times are tough for now.

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