This Thanksgiving, as we pause to reflect, there are mixed signs of where we as a nation are headed. First for the good news: The presidential election showed more minorities participated in the voting process. The home mortgage crisis that triggered the real estate freefall of price values has seen stabilization and housing starts may be showing a slight improvement. And our involvement in Iraq has almost ceased and our active military involvement in Afghanistan is also approaching an end.
While these are all good signs, there are several storm clouds looming ever closer. The most immediate is the fiscal crisis of December 31, where the economy could be plunged into chaos if an agreement between Republicans and Democrats is not reached. Abroad, the continued stagnation and possible recession in Europe is concerning; and at home the unemployment rate remains still too high for too many able workers unable to find a job to meet the basic needs of any family in America. The almost certain possibility that Iran will have a nuclear capability in the short term and what measures our leaders will take to retain diplomatic balance are concerning. The image of America abroad, especially in the Third World, is not the one we or our forbears believed in. Instead, we are perceived as a global bully, and our way of life is not to be imitated, but to be avoided. Lastly, today there seems to be a feeling in this country of what President Carter called “a malaise.”
These conflicting events should be considered as some of us sit down for the Thanksgiving dinner in abundance, while others sit down for a Thanksgiving dinner in dearth. As a nation, we have always believed that our children will enjoy a better life than their parents. For many middle class American families, this is no longer the case as many of the future generation will not attain the same degree of material wealth that their parents have had. We who have been blessed should consider that material possessions are not what life is all about. Perhaps this is a lesson that some can learn on this Thanksgiving.
Already, for many of our readers, this way of life of giving generously to local charities that help tens of thousands put food on their table and roofs over their heads is actively embraced.
America has always been a land of opportunity and high morals. As we sit down to the dinner table on Thursday, let us start on this path again. For if we can return to our American roots, then Thanksgiving is truly in order.