I recently looked up quotes on Thanksgiving Day and not surprisingly there was a common theme. See if you can pick it up:

“Rather than crying for what we have not

Give thanks for all that you’ve got.

Count your blessings and then

Share them with others again and again.”

— Catherine Pulsifer

“The more my heart is parked in a place of thanksgiving and rejoicing, the less room I have for grumpiness.” — Lysa TerKeurst

“Gratefulness — there is always more to be thankful for than to feel bad about.” — Tyler Green

Okay, I’ll let you in on it. In better words than mine, the theme says by being thankful more, we are disappointed (or grumpy or let down) less. Concentrating on all the good we have makes for a grateful heart and fills the soul with joy rather than sadness. It’s definitely something to aim for... especially today. We could all ruminate about how divided we are politically, or how the rich are getting richer, or how efforts to improve the environment have lost out to the moneyed voices of Big Business and Wall Street, or how many mass shootings we’ve had over the last few years, or how bigotry, misogyny, and hate are on the rise. But at least this Thanksgiving we can all try to unite in thanks for living in the “Land of the Free and Home of the Brave.”

We did not get into a new war this year with Korea, Russia or Iran — but probably came close. The stock exchange is booming (mostly) and we could all hope (or pray) that it will eventually hit Main Street and the common man and woman’s wallet — which it hasn’t. The Mueller investigation did not interfere with the 2018 mid-term elections, so the people who lost their seats in the House can’t be pointing fingers at the “deep state,” and claiming “the election was rigged.” Although we had two devastating and deadly hurricanes, as well as two devastating and deadly wildfires, we can rejoice that our president says he wants the “best environment.”

Continuing, we can all rejoice our president also believes he has the support of the majority of Americans in spite of losing the popular vote by more than 2 million, and never exceeding a 46 percent approval rating in any poll... he must be an optimist besides a narcissist, happy day. We can also give thanks for our fellow American’s faith because they somehow still believe that despite telling more than 6,000 false or misleading claims since becoming president, Trump did not collude with Russians to get dirt on Hillary and fix the election for himself. How about thanking our lucky stars our president seems to have a plan that somehow will eventually lead us out of debt even though he and his fellow Retrumplicans have passed huge tax cuts for the rich, out spent both Russia and China on the military and vow to build a “beautiful” (but outrageously expensive and totally unnecessary) wall on our southern border.

You probably figured out I’m not being thankful at all; and about the state of this country you would be correct. I am however truly grateful for my family. I have three married sons with five grandchildren and counting. I have a beautiful wife who puts up with my many shortcomings. I have two brothers and four sisters and we all get along very well, although we don’t get to see one another as much as we’d like. I have a good job with very good people and have retired from the teaching profession after more than 27 years working in special education. Neither my wife nor I have ever had to rely on government assistance of any kind in more than 39 years of marriage. I am grateful to God for all of the above.

I am also thankful for this platform to air my opinion and The Standard-Journal for actually printing the same. The list of things I’m grateful for also includes my health, my friends, my home, my neighborhood and even my dog, on most days. I have always been thankful to live in the greatest country in the world even though I never felt it was diminished or downgraded until the man who claimed he’d Make America Great Again took over at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Despite all the preceding ranting, this is my favorite and most emotional holiday. It’s just been a little less so since 2016. I wish you all a very Happy Thanksgiving and Blessed Holiday Season, however you celebrate it.

Mike Tischio is a freelance columnist living in Union County. To comment, simply email newsroom@standard-journal.com.

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