By Nathan Barton
Day after tomorrow (as I write this) is Thanksgiving Day in the Fifty States. Other nations have such a festival or ceremony or holiday. (For example, Canada has, since the 1930s, observed Thanksgiving on a Monday in October. Since 1957, that has been the 2nd Monday – many people associate it with Columbus Day in the Fifty States, but there is no such official tie.) But the American celebration is … different. In many ways.
My family has always considered Thanksgiving to be the major family holiday, as we do not celebrate holidays for religious reasons, and so neither Easter nor Christmas is that significant. This year, for various reasons, my family will not be able to get together physically for the holiday, but will still remember and observe it, enjoying the technology that makes it possible to get together without being in one place physically.
We do not see “thanksgiving” as some generic, vague “be thankful” for what we have, as schools and government and media have pushed for decades. We are politically incorrect and give thanks always to God our Creator, and to family and friends and neighbors (whether friends or not!) for what they have done for us.
And we thank God that certain other people and groups have NOT done “for” us or, more accurately, “to us.” (Most of us will remember the rabbinical blessing: “May God bless him and keep the Czar… far away from us!” from Fiddler on the Roof.)
It is not, of course, just limited to Thanksgiving Day to do such things – to give thanks and show appreciation. It is something we do, or certainly try to do, daily – and indeed throughout the day. It is a matter of simple courtesy, of course, something taught since childhood. We thank people for opening a door, for giving right of way, for catching our hat when the wind gets it, for buying something from us, and providing us information and service.
But a special day like this Thursday is an opportunity to reflect and do more. So here is a baker’s dozen of things I am thankful to God, my family, my friends, and others for giving me. (Not necessarily in order of priority!)
- For me personally: health and safety and family and friends.
- For my activities (engineering and writing and everything else): the skills I have and my ability to put them to use and the difference I’ve made for at least some people.
- For my company: clients and work and business associates and allies.
- For my family: in addition to health and safety and friends: work and homes and encouragement.
- For my clients: customers and work and success and as few regulations and opponents as possible (and for being able to avoid those we have, this last year).
- For my comrades in arms: protection in harm’s way and (for most) returning to home and family.
- For my brethren in Christ: freedom to worship and teach and preach and their examples in my life.
- For my political associates: freedom to speak and their successes in promoting liberty, and their constant encouragement and provocation.
- For my communities (physical ones): safety from natural and technological and intentional man-caused disasters and emergencies.
- For my homeland (the Black Hills): the freedom and prosperity we have, despite the efforts to take more and more away.
- For South Dakota, Wyoming, and Nebraska (the states in which the Black Hills lay): good weather and adequate moisture and good crops and grass – and for not being subjected to the “care” given by the FedGov to such places as Syria and Afghanistan.
- For the Fifty States: avoidance of as much tyranny and exploitation as we have been able to avoid, and the prosperity we have in contrast to so many other places.
- For government (the State): finally, I am thankful for the overall incompetence and distractions and internal fusses and fighting that allow me, my family, my friends, and my communities to be as free from their activities as we are, and that will eventually allow us to gain our liberty.
In each of the things that I am thankful to the Lord and family and friends and communities for, there is of course, a corresponding petition to God that we continue to enjoy these blessings and that we gain (or regain) those things which evil men and circumstances have taken away.
Although you who read this are already in the above baker’s dozen, please know that I am thankful for you AND to you for reading, pondering, and acting on the things I’ve written and Mama Liberty has published over the years. And to her for her love and understanding and wisdom, and work she’s put in over the years to help people and increase liberty.
Mama’s Note: Thank you, Nathan, and bless you and your family. I probably would not have maintained this blog for so long without you. And hope I never have to find out. 🙂
So many things to be thankful for… Family, life and health, a sturdy home and good neighbors, a peaceful place to live – along with the ability and tools to defend home and community if it becomes necessary.
And then, there’s the corgi. 🙂 I was telling someone earlier that I would be alone for Thanksgiving, but he reminded me that nobody who has a dog is ever truly alone. So right! I had not thought of it that way, but it is true. And then I got a call from the people who board their horses here in the summer. They invited me to come share their Thanksgiving dinner, and I was delighted to accept. I’ll bring home a “doggie bag” for the corgi.
I hope that everyone who reads this will have a wonderful holiday indeed, and suggest only that you take the time to tell your family and friends that you love them (If you do, of course). None of us can ever be sure we’ll have another opportunity. If you have elderly or invalid relatives or friends, plan now to spend some quality time with them, the only gift they truly need. And spend some quality time with yourself as well as your family.