Many reasons

Published 1:39 pm Thursday, November 25, 2010


Most Minnesotans are quick to say, when asked, that they’re thankful for their family and friends, for a roof over their heads and for having enough to eat. There’s far more than that, though, for which we can give thanks on this day; a drive around town or a even a look around the room reveal that even those of us who are least well off still live relatively luxurious lives.

For all the complaining about what’s wrong with our country, state and community, there’s far more that’s right than wrong. Americans have access to wonderful public education opportunities and Minnesotans have even better opportunities than many others. Good education goes a long way toward helping people avoid or transcend other problems.

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Few Americans, few Minnesotans and few Mower County residents are truly hungry. Our nation produces food in abundance and it is distributed well – not just to those who have money but, through a network of food shelves and other caring organizations including the government, to those who have fewer resources.

Almost everyone in our community is warm today, thanks to instant availability of electricity and natural gas. Many in this world can not simply flick a switch or turn a dial to receive near-instant gratification in the form of light, heat and hot water.

The luxuries of America today extend to the mundane: Travelers will drive their well-equipped vehicles to visit relatives, burning gas that is far less expensive than in many nations, on roads that are beautifully engineered, plowed and sanded. They’ll watch football on gigantic television screens and they’ll surf the internet on computers and smart phones that are so affordable that few are without them. As they rush out to shop, they’ll be doing something that is almost inconceivable to much of the world’s population: spending money on gifts that are not needed, simply because it is a tradition.

We point all of this out not to suggest Americans, Minnesotans, Austinites should feel guilty. Far from it. The point is that from the smallest thing to the largest, we all have much for which to give thanks.