It is almost impossible to look at the major headlines in much of today’s news and not feel a sense of despair and exasperation.
The overwhelming evidence shows that there is definitely something fundamentally wrong with the world. One might ask, Is there anywhere where justice, truth and beauty are recognized, appreciated and preserved? The troubles we face today seem uniquely desperate and can make us long for the better times of yester-years or can keep us fixated on a hope for a better tomorrow. Here the profound words of the distinguished American journalist Paul Harvey are apropos, In times like these, it helps to recall that there have always been times like these. I would add that there will always be times like these. Every generation of humanity has had and will have large overarching problems as they try to properly arrange and rearrange societies, classes and institutions.
I find it best to refocus from the macro to micro in realizing why I am so thankful. Every day I wake up at 4:30AM in an effort to read and write in peace, without the constant demand of fatherhood and marriage. Often as I walk through the house I am overwhelmed with gratefulness to see my wife and two daughters sound asleep. I know that there is so much that could have or one day will go wrong, which makes me so thankful for the moments we together right now. And truly right now is all we have. The people that are close to us, the general level of provision most of us have, and if all that fails the fact that we have beat many of the odds and are alive at this very moment, these are the things for which I am grateful.
Philosophically, I might argue that thankfulness and gratefulness are reflective, personal feelings, for no one is grateful to a rock or a potato. Often these feelings arise when there is no one around to which we can direct the sentiments. I might then conclude there is a personal, immaterial God who is always present, to which our gratefulness is always appropriate. But that is a thought for another time. Happy Thanksgiving every one.