As I sat down to compose this Thanksgiving Day blog post I struggled with trying to avoid all the cliches that get thrown out in the Social Media world on a whim as a marketing ploy or a "look at me/us" types of post. How does one truly elucidate their thankfulness for the gifts, bounty, family, friends, and sheer awesomeness that is living in these United States has provided and continues to provide? A better question is how to do this without sounding pretentious, cliche, trite, or insincere. It is a double edged sword for sure. From the personal, Jim side of things, and then from the Jim, owner of S7G, side of things. Of course there is blending and overlap of these two worlds, but each world has it's own specifics and I don't want to miss anyone in my thanks, yet to say "everyone who has been a part of my life and s7G" seems so...well...lame, cliche, worn, over done...pick an adjective.
Then, there is the religious aspect of Thanksgiving Day. Many of my friends are not God fearing Christians, many are not Christians at all, quite the opposite actually. Those who know me best, know where I stand, and I do not shy away from my Faith in my posts, personal or S7G related. We live in a world of political correctness that has gone horribly awry and everyone lives in fear of not being inclusive or being offensive...sad, but true. Much to the chagrin of many of those closest to me in the S7G world know I am not PC. I do not go out of my way to offend people or be mean/hurtful, or vengeful; those behaviors would fly in the face of my Faith. I'm not perfect, I struggle and try to walk the walk I am commanded to live, failing like all humans do, but it is not how often you fail that matters, it is what you do to not repeat the same failure(s). It is this freedom of speech and freedom of religion that are 2 things I am most thankful for DAILY, not just on Thanksgiving; but, Turkey Day is the day we tell the world. However, it is worth stating that these 2 things are not possible without the strength, courage, forethought, and perseverance of our Founding Fathers and the great people of this Nation who lived before us. And MOST importantly, it is our MILITARY for whom we should be thankful, not just on Veteran's Day, but EVERYDAY we wake up in this great country. I don't mean to sound so jingoistic, but the reality is there for all to see. Read history. If not for Divine Intervention (imho) and the fortitude of our Founding Fathers and military from the Revolutionary War to now and the battle that rages on in the Middle East; I would not be able to write this post and display it publicly without fear of imprisonment or even death. That is a powerful thing to digest. Please take a moment and think about the gravity of that statement, and be honestly thankful to whomever or whatever you wish. Because none of us got to this point in our lives without the help of others, personal or business.
The point of all this rambling and pontificating is to encourage people to click the link below and read what George Washington had to say on the innagural Thanksgiving with the United States as a real nation, after the ratification of our Constitution in 1789.
His words are poignant and powerful even today, but looking at it from 21st century eyes and understanding the foresight he and those great people who fought and died for the birth of these United States is awe inspiring and only solidifies my own Faith. For those who will read this and are not of the same Faith, replace any reference to God with whatever word makes you happy: Jawae, Goddess, Allah, man, woman, whatever...it does not matter. Like it or not, no one knows who is right and we are all in this country and on this planet in this solar system within this galaxy within an ever expanding universe, TOGETHER. Be thankful and celebrate what we have in common, rather than focus on our differences; because the reality is, our commonalities are far greater than our differences. The irony of it all is that it is precisely these differences that really makes us an amazing country, but the human creature is so pompous and arrogant that we are often blind to this blessing. How boring life would be if everyone and everything was the same. Imagine if we all drove the same car, lived in the same style house, looked the same, dressed the same, ate the same foods, etc. Embrace the variety and bounty that we all have been given the opportunity to experience. Life is fleeting and but a millisecond on the continuum of eternity; please don't waste yours being angry, jealous, hateful, prideful, sad, envious, and miserable. We have every opportunity in this great country to make our lives as good or as bad as we choose. Be thankful for those who have allowed this to be your reality and choose wisely, learn from mistakes, and strive daily to make a positive impact on someone in your life, wether you know them or not.
I wish everyone a great Thanksgiving Day with family and friends. I pray for our military who are in harms way and not with their families; and I pray for their families who miss them terribly and go to bed nightly not knowing if they are coming home. I pray for our leaders that they will wake up and govern with more insight and forethought like our Founding Fathers. And while everyone is in a food coma watching football in their warm houses, stuffing themselves to excess with that extra helping of mashed potatoes, or pumpkin pie; remember those who do not have a home, heat, family, food, electric, jobs, TV, or hope. The gifts we all enjoy can be taken away in an instant, never forget that or those who have allowed us the luxuries in life we all enjoy. May God bless and keep you and your familieswell through this holiday season. I thank all of you who have touched my life these past 45 years.