Gratitude and courage

As the saying goes, everyone loves Thanksgiving except the turkey. And what’s not to love? It’s one of America’s few indigenous holidays, it’s free of commercial cant, it brings families together, and it provides us an opportunity to give thanks for all we have, beginning with the singular miracle of being alive.

Of course, if we were wise we’d be giving thanks all the time, every moment, living lives filled with gratitude, if only because not being alive is, well, such an unpleasant alternative to consider. And we here in Chico and Northern California are especially blessed by the beauty of nature around us and the abundance that surrounds and provides for us.

In fact, it’s hard to understand why we, like so many Americans in other parts of the country, are so afraid of so many things. Lately it’s terrorists, but think of all the wars, real and figurative, we’ve been fighting lately. As a nation, we’ve become addicted to the warfare industry, spending huge amounts of our wealth fighting the things—drugs, terrorists, communists—that frighten us. It’s important to take reasonable precautions to protect ourselves, but this reflexive need for combat is doing us more harm than good.

As we express our gratitude this Thanksgiving and contemplate the bounties we enjoy, we might also remember that the United States is a great and strong nation whose people are compassionate and generous. We are uniquely blessed. We don’t need to feel afraid.

The News & Review wishes all it readers a warm and happy Thanksgiving.