By Dusty Reins
As a former news reporter, I have been given the assignment to ask people what they are thankful for during the Thanksgiving season and report my findings. This year, for the first time, I have been asked to respond to the question. It would be easy to provide a list of all the things I am thankful for but I have decided to restrict my response to what I am most thankful for, every day.
I am most thankful for people all over the world who represent all colors, religions and creeds that embody certain specific principles for personal beliefs and conduct. I believe most people everywhere desire some basic things for themselves and their families. It is not surprising for those who enjoy these things to state they are thankful for the opportunity to enjoy them. These would include good health, security, food, shelter, work and personal liberties for themselves and their families.
I have had the opportunity to observe and interview thousands of people of diverse ages and backgrounds in the last few decades. The happiest people I have met have one thing in common which appears to bring all the elements they need most into their life experience. They all have a strong work ethic. Many have worked many years at jobs they have not liked simply because it provided sustainability for themselves and their family and helped to meet their other basic needs. Others have educated themselves or developed skills for occupations they enjoy working at.
The unhappiest people I have met generally have a poor work ethic. They generally hate or disdain the work they do or they have inherited money and responsibilities that restrict their personal activities, or they simply do not want to work at all. They tend to use others in order to sustain themselves. They then tend to blame others for all their problems. When they do something for others or their community they not only expect but demand reciprocity for their efforts no matter how shallow their contributions may be. As a result, they have little respect for others or even authority. Some will resort to breaking the law or even harm others while demanding respect for themselves.
So I am most thankful for the hardworking people of our lands who do value life and respect for others and civil authority, who are truthful, honorable and ethical in all they do. Those who are willing to sacrifice their own resources in order to help out those less fortunate and contribute to society as a whole with no demands in return. People who honor values known historically to build healthy societies and people within them. People who would never knowingly cause any harm to property which does not belong to them or another person and their honor. People who believe every individual is responsible for their own actions.
I am particularly thankful for certain groups of people in general who embody these principles even though there are always going to be some individuals within them who do not embrace such lofty ideals. These groups include the farmers and ranchers who produce our food, our blue collar workers and the women and men who have and do serve in the armed forces of our country. The best Thanksgiving dinners are the ones you have honestly worked for all year. Happy Thanksgiving!