Another Thanksgiving holiday is upon us and it can’t come soon enough. We need a break, it’s been a rough year.
We could use a break from the devastating hurricanes, rampaging wildfires, threats of nuclear war, mass shootings, civil unrest, racial tension and divisive politics that get more toxic with each passing day.
The stock market is roaring as the U.S. economic recovery hits its eighth year, but the average American’s wages have barely budged. Income inequality is the worst it’s been since the Great Depression of 1928. Eighty percent of us live paycheck to paycheck.
Health care costs continue to skyrocket. Medical expenses have become the leading cause of bankruptcies in the United States. Student debt is at an all-time high as education costs climb higher, deterring many from pursuing a college degree.
National disillusionment is prevalent. An overwhelming majority of American voters think the country is headed in the wrong direction.
While polls have been trending in that direction for years, the number of people responding that they are dissatisfied with the way things are going in the United States is surging past 70 percent.
Congress has never been more dysfunctional. As a nation, we are more polarized than ever.
Our president promises to “Make America Great Again.” Ten months into his term, he appears to be making America madder and meaner.
Thanksgiving is a welcome time to hit the pause button on the polarizing issues of the day. It’s a time to gather with friends and family, share a meal and appreciate the meaningful things in our lives.
It’s an appropriate time to turn off cable news, put down our phones, block out the negative forces and count our blessings. That’s right, count our blessings.
It’s easy to get discouraged in these tumultuous times; the deluge of bad news can be overwhelming if you dwell on it. And it is easy to dwell on it in this digital era of news consumption and a relentless 24-hour news cycle.
But despite all the bad that seems to have engulfed our nation, there is still plenty of good going on in our communities.
We know because we report on positive stories every week. Stories like the record-setting fundraising drive by the Franklin County Area United Way, Scouts collecting food donations in the rain, teachers, businesses and churches celebrating milestones. The list goes on and on.
Regular readers of The Missourian know we have real heroes right here in Franklin County. They are veterans, first responders, faith leaders and volunteers of every kind who are actively engaged in making their communities better places.
We are fortunate to tell their stories and there is no shortage of stories to tell.
The truth is we spend too much time obsessing over politics and politicians. We place too much stock in their abilities to make a difference or turn our country around.
We look to Washington, D.C., for answers when we should spend more time and energy on making Franklin County a better place to live. There is always room for improvements.
There is much to be grateful for, you just have to know where to look.
Put your phone down, give thanks and pass the turkey!