Thanksgiving thoughts, 2011

Every time we open the newspaper or watch the evening news, we’re bombarded with accounts of corruption, financial woes (this is hardly just of late), even child abuse. Notwithstanding these reports, I have quite a bit to be thankful for this year.

First and foremost, I’m thankful for my family. My immediate family is now down to just my older brother and me. I’m forever grateful for his guidance, counsel and advice, even though I seldom heed it. I’m also thankful for the education and nurturing I received from a good, hard-working father and a moral, loving mother. They passed away long ago, but they’re still my No. 1 role models.

I’m especially thankful for my country. Despite the social and financial turmoil our country is embroiled in, it’s still the best place in the world to live, and the last hope for a free, moral and safe world. I recall flying into Nouakchott, Mauritania, to board a research vessel years ago. I was greeted at the gate by three kids in their mid-teens. They were dressed in filthy military uniforms, AK-47s slung over their shoulders. When I retrieved my luggage, I noticed several items missing, including an old, favored 35 mm camera. I didn’t dare say a word; I wasn’t in America anymore.

I’m thankful for my party. Although I don’t totally agree with all the GOP presidential candidates’ platforms, I begin each morning with the knowledge that any one of them is far better than what we have. Each of them knows that being an American is about what we can all contribute to society, not “what’s in it for me?”

I’m grateful for the tea party and 9-12 movements. They opened America’s eyes to the destructive changes our country has been undergoing, and they provided the impetus, resolve and the means to reverse that ugly trend.

I’m thankful for my friends, not only for their intelligent conversation, good humor and warm friendship, but also for taking the time to run me around to meetings, dinners and events. This is necessary, as I’m no longer allowed to drive. When I told the Department of Motor Vehicles that I was now blind as a bat, I expected the agency to give me a handicapped parking sticker; instead, it rescinded my driving privileges.

I’m thankful to our military and the sacrifices these men and women make on our behalf daily far from their home. It’s become a cliché to say we can never do enough for our dedicated men and women in uniform, so I’ll just repeat the words of my dear friend, Nancy, “America: Land of the free, because of the brave.”

I’m grateful to BizPac Review. Having a Florida counterpoint to the liberal mainstream media is very cool indeed. Being able to actually write for that counterpoint publication is cooler yet. Knowing that people actually read what I write is the ultimate of cool.

Finally, I’m thankful to the editors at BizPac Review for keeping me on the straight and narrow, and making me sound much smarter than I actually am.

These are the things I’m thankful for. How about you?

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