Learning to do without is one Thanksgiving blessing

By Lynn Moncus

Because Thanksgiving is one of my favorite holidays of the year, I was more than a little disgruntled when I overheard some people saying that they surely don’t look forward to it this year because they have so little to be thankful for.

They then went on to recount their complaints about our economic situation and about the seemingly endless problems with our government.
I really wanted to stand up to make a few remarks but decided such would not be appreciated, particularly since they were strangers.

As I watched and listened, I noted that they were eating rather expensive meals, that they were well-dressed, and that they certainly looked healthy as they bent their elbows so rapidly. As I later watched them drive away in a new car, I wondered even more why they seemed so bitter, particularly since they said they were on a month’s vacation.

Most of us can recall situations in which we were not exactly able to afford much and were not particularly in the pink as far as health was concerned.

We can also recall when we might have been a bit put out with the activities in Washington, D.C., but we continued tending to our own business and came out all right as time passed. We can even recall when we were so very thankful to have what little we had and to be surrounded by our families.

Of course, I’m thinking of some of those Thanksgivings spent in the canyons during which time we were so poor that we didn’t even realize we were poor because most of our neighbors were in the same condition. During those holidays, we were just as happy as if we had good sense and as if we lived in palaces. We were comfortable, not hungry, and as healthy as we have ever been. We might not have always had turkey and all the trimmings, but we were delighted to have that good home-cooked food that pleased all our appetites.

Not only did I hear those people talking about the chore they were going to have in order to be thankful this year, but I’ve just about shot the television several times when the newscasters have tried to tell us how we need to prepare for hard times and how we need to explain to the children why they may not be having their usual feasts. Well, those children and their parents can manage to be very thankful to be together and to have a little less to eat this year.

They can learn a little about what it is to do without and can begin to learn that a lot of people in our world will have even less than they have. With a some help, they can learn to appreciate what they have and to avoid demanding more.

We have so much to be thankful for that we need to spend some of that holiday just listing a few of the reasons. As we sit down to our meal, we can think of that first Thanksgiving and know that those early arrivers were pleased to be beginning a new life in a new land in which they could be free to practice their religion and to live good lives. If they could but join us today, they could teach us much and would be amazed that any of us grumbled about having so little to be thankful for.

Let’s all wish each other a happy Thanksgiving and just enjoy being Americans on one of our very special holidays.