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A time to value communities

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that is not controversial. It is nonpartisan. It is not necessarily religious and it is very American. There is some question about whether the Indians were invited or were simply keeping the new settlers alive...

Thanksgiving is one of the holidays that is not controversial. It is nonpartisan. It is not necessarily religious and it is very American. There is some question about whether the Indians were invited or were simply keeping the new settlers alive, but other than some myths and images that might not be totally accurate, the idea behind it is fairly universal.

No, I am not talking about eating too much turkey and pumpkin pie, I am talking about having a day when we stop and give thanks, to whomever or in whatever way, for what we have, not relative to others, but what, within our specific lives, we can be thankful for. We might be thankful for the people in our lives, or our health, or our memories and experiences, or a goal we achieved.

It is perhaps poor form to gloat about our wealth or possessions, but we can be thankful for the good luck ... the turn of fate, or however we want to put it, that allowed us to be successful or comfortable.

It is a time for humility ... to remember that, "there but for the grace of God, go I" ... to acknowledge that others have worked as hard as we have, if not harder, and may not have been rewarded in the ways that we have ... to remember that many others on the planet have not had the benefits that we might have ... to remember that there are others who live in much worse situations than we do, or are suffering from debilitations or war or violence or threats from nature ... to remember that some others are too young, too old, too sick or too frail to be able to enjoy life or contribute as we might.

It is a time to reevaluate what we have been given and rededicate ourselves to helping maintain it, not only for our use, but for the use of others who might need it and for the future of those yet to come. It is about leaving the earth in better shape than we found it, or at least not in worse shape.

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It is a time to remember that people are far more important than possessions, that we live in a country founded on the principles of democracy and to dedicate ourselves to keeping it alive and thriving so all citizens can benefit from its successes and work together to solve its problems to keep it strong and thriving.

It is a time to value communities ... of family, of friends, of organizations we participate in, of the cities, and counties and states and the nation that thrives and stays healthy with our good will and willing cooperation and participation.

It is a time to realize what a unique place we hold in life and be humbly thankful for our blessings.

BOB PASSI is retired and is a Baxter resident.

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