Thankfulness. It’s something that increasingly seems to be lost in our ever-escalating “me” society. Maybe it’s the pot calling the kettle black for I know I have my moments, but as the pendulum swings further towards narcissism, as our country’s history continues to be revised, derided, and twisted to fit convenient political narratives, the more ungrateful and unhappy people tend to be.
Here we are at the most prosperous time in the history of the richest nation ever on this planet. If you’re reading this, you were probably born here or are living in the freest country there has ever been. Or at least it used to be before it was overrun by bureaucrats, regulating and taxing everything under the sun. There are some who know zilch about economics, who prevaricate in class envy and victimhood and promise free this, that and the other thing, and would love to redistribute wealth of the socalled rich. But let’s call a spade a spade: they would really love to dictate exactly when and where and how you can live your life while they, the privileged few, fly around on private jets and live lavishly in garish luxury. That’s how socialism works. What they purport to do would gut the middle class and turn this country into another socialist “paradise,” replete with hyperinflation, breadlines and empty supermarkets and months-long waiting lists for substandard health care.
“There is,” as economist Thomas Sowell notes, “nothing that government can’t make worse.”
It’s a losing proposition, one that would destroy life in this country as we know it. Economics isn’t a zero-sum game. Just because one person has more money than someone else doesn’t mean that the other can never accumulate wealth. It’s a delusion sold by slick talkers.
Sowell again in a 2010 column: “Politicians with the power to determine each citizen’s income are no longer public servants. They are public masters. Are we really so eaten up with envy, or so mesmerized by rhetoric, that we are willing to sacrifice our own freedom by giving politicians the power to decide how much money anybody can make or keep? Of course, that will start only with ‘the rich,’ but surely history tells us that it will not end there. The French Revolution began arbitrary executions among the hereditary aristocracy but ended up arbitrarily executing all sorts of other people, including eventually even leaders of the Revolution itself, such as Robespierre. Similar patterns appeared in the Bolshevik Revolution, in the rise of the Nazis and in numerous other times and places, where expanded and arbitrary powers were put into the hands of politicians – and were used against the population as a whole. Once you buy the argument that some segment of the citizenry should lose its rights, just because those people are envied or resented, you are putting your own rights in jeopardy – quite aside from undermining any moral basis for respecting anybody’s rights. The moral bankruptcy of the notion that third parties can decide when somebody else has ‘enough’ money is matched by its economic illiteracy.”
I’ll believe the climate change propaganda when those who scream it loudest start practicing what they preach instead of buying $15 million oceanfront estates and flying in their private jets, one trip in which consumes more fuel than you or I do in a year. Anyone with critical thinking skills can see through the sham these shills are trying to sell. It’s a desperate power play based on failed hypotheses, fudged numbers, manufactured hysteria and a complicit media; the endgame is state control of the masses. Why do you think they want so badly to do away with the Second Amendment? And the First, for that matter. You know how to recognize a fascist? They’re the ones trying to shut down free speech and take away the means of self-protection from law-abiding citizens. The protestors in Hong Kong realize how great we have it here; they’re waving American flags, while leftists here burn them.
It’s quite amazing how dumb they think the American people are, as if we can’t see through the scare tactics and lies. Unfortunately though, some are brainwashed, too blind or too naïve or too consumed by cheap entertainment and commercialism to go out and get a pair of good boots to wade through the bunk, to slam the door in the face of the snake-oil salespeople. And the worst thing is, they’re going for the kids. Instead of being taught how to think, too often they’re being told what to think. Instead of being taught to question everything, too often they’re being taught that they’re some sort of -ist if they question what they’re told to be true. They’re too often taught confusion. Zealots and dictators through the ages have known that to fundamentally change a society, you have to go after the children. It’s a disgusting tactic, and more people need to stand up against the fear-mongering and misinformation that’s being put in their innocent heads.
When is enough, enough? Truth be told, I was told I was a victim for far too long before I woke up one day and realized I was a victim only of my own poor choices. I was unthankful for the opportunities afforded me in this great nation, for the great fortune of being born in a free society. But freedom isn’t free, and I can’t stand quietly by and watch this country’s fundamental freedoms be ripped away by two-bit politicians. We’re a free people, free individuals with multitudes of choices we can make to improve our lives. Anybody can become anything in such a society, born into “privilege” or not. Many brave men and women have fought and died for these freedoms, something I am forever grateful for.
On Thanksgiving, that’s just one of the many, many, many things I will thank God for. A roof over my head, air to breathe – another chance are some others. Those are the things I started waking up and thanking God for back in my darkest days, and lo and behold, the days became brighter.
Unhappy? Try being thankful for the things you have. I did, and it works. If you’re envious of what someone else has, well, there’s the root of your unhappiness. Yes, I know that times are tough for many people at many times, but happiness is not found in what you have or circumstances. It’s found not in money or material things or entertainment. Those things make slaves of us all. There’s no such thing as free lunch – somebody’s paying for it – just as there’s no such thing as “government-funded.” It’s all “taxpayer-funded.” You and I are paying for all the phony promises and largesse.
The thing about wealth is “What will it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his own soul? What will a man give in exchange for his soul?”
Happiness is found in freedom, not slavery, and make no mistake, money, drugs, sex, anything that controls us can become a cruel taskmaster. But, “If the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” It’s a radical message proclaimed by the Son Himself – Jesus. “I came that you might have life, and that you might have it more abundantly.” He didn’t promise riches; in fact, He said, “Take up your cross and follow me.” Radical. Life-changing. Liberating.
But don’t take my word for it. His message is available for anyone to read in the best-selling book of all time. And His message of freedom is powerful, so powerful that they ban the Bible in North Korea, lest one become a follower of Christ and realize freedom. It’s a message that has unshackled untold millions around the globe. It’s a message that released me from that which had enslaved me. On Thanksgiving, I will take time to thank Him for that.
George Washington knew the value of giving thanks. During the Revolutionary War, he would have thanksgiving services for his troops. When he became president, in his first year in office, on October 3, 1789, Washington issued his Thanksgiving proclamation, marking the first national celebration of the holiday. It was Washington’s proclamation that guided Abraham Lincoln’s 1863 proclamation. Lincoln issued his proclamation on the same day, October 3, and marked the same Thanksgiving Day, Thursday, November 26, as Washington, setting Thanksgiving as the last Thursday of November after our first president’s example.
The following is from Washington’s Thanksgiving Proclamation:
“Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor—(I and Congress) recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness.
“Now therefore I do recommend and assign Thursday the 26th day of November next to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be– That we may then all unite in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks–for his kind care and protection of the People of this Country previous to their becoming a Nation–for the signal and manifold mercies, and the favorable interpositions of his Providence which we experienced in the course and conclusion of the late war–for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty, which we have since enjoyed- -for the peaceable and rational manner, in which we have been enabled to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national One now lately instituted–for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed; and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and in general for all the great and various favors which he hath been pleased to confer upon us.
“And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech him to pardon our national and other transgressions– to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually–to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed– … To promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us–and generally to grant unto all Mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as he alone knows to be best.”
Until next time…
Brian Miller is a longtime local writer who resides with his wife Bethany and The Lost Puppy Case™ in Eveleth, MN. He welcomes glowing accolades and scathing reviews at email@example.com.