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Our U. S. Heritage and Thanksgiving

I visited with a Russian immigrant and mentioned our upcoming Thanksgiving Holiday. He attested that America is special in so many ways and how appropriate for her citizenry to have a yearly holiday devoted to being thankful.

Of all the holidays, Thanksgiving is my favorite as it is the only one that remains unmarred by crass commercialism. It is a special time for us as a nation to pause and reflect on the things for which we are thankful. In spite of the recent destruction life and property by storms and other issues of unrest, there is much to be thankful for.

With the exception of the American Indian, all of us have our roots in other soil. We are all children of immigrants from oppressed countries who came to this land in search of freedom. One of the greatest freedoms sought is religious freedom.

The Pilgrims withstood hardships and seemingly insurmountable odds to come to a land and establish freedom of worship. The freedom to worship. The freedom to worship God according to the convictions of your one’s own heart, not according to the dictates of a church state.

Still today there continues to be a mass worldwide exodus of people leaving established homes in search of freedom. The freedom to be safe. The freedom to be educated. The freedom to worship.

As a child I learned Emma Lazarus’s poem that is inscribed at the base of the Statue of Liberty.

                   “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breath free.
                     Send these, the homeless, tempest tossed to me.
                     I life my lamp beside the golden doors.”

In spite of the destruction of life and property in recent storms we can always be thankful for what we have left. We can renew our appreciation for what has been, what is and what is yet to come. Renew an appreciation to value people and our homes as never before. A renewed appreciation to value the wonderful gift of life and to take nothing - and no one - for granted.

A renewed love for our neighbor – no matter the color, age, size or cultural. And to realize our neighbor is global. A renewed appreciation for the infinite worth and value of each individual - including yourself.

O Lord, that lends me life, lend me a heart replete with thankfulness.
William Shakespeare

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues. Cicero

NEED A SPEAKER: Mona Dunkin is a Motivational Speaker, Corporate Trainer and Personal Success Coach. Contact her at 254-749-6594

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