HOLMBERG: So easy these days not to be thankful

Posted at 1:05 AM, Nov 27, 2014
and last updated 2014-11-27 01:39:10-05

Do we really know how lucky, how blessed we are, to be living in this country, at this time?

We get so caught up in the thankfully rare cultural shocks like we been seeing in Ferguson, Missouri, or the big Ebola scare that really rocked us only because of our fear.

We are so so sharply divided on just about every issue. And so so angry! So certain!

We forget how much we have - together - in this country.

Most of us, even many of the poorest among us, have some or a lot of the latest technology to communicate. Most of us have cars and are enjoying some of the lowest gas prices in a decade.

I took a 280 mile hitchhiking trip recently and was really surprised at how many new or fairly new cars fill our roadways.

Yes, the economy is been tough and I feel for our brothers and sisters who have been hit the hardest. But look around. Many of us have toys (for me, it's motorcycles) and hobbies that we pursue with great vigor. Drive up and down the East Coast and look at all the marinas just filled with expensive boats.

We spend a lot of time dieting and exercising when a good bit of the world gets a big workout just gathering food and fuel for their homes.

Here, we live in a most beautiful city where art and art like architecture and geography abound. Most of us feel fairly safe and secure in our homes, which is something many around the world dream about.

We're free to pray to whomever we want -  or not to - and we can openly mock or honor our leaders.

Just like we can be friends with, and admire,  whomever we please It's so easy to forget to be thankful for our health - even if it's not perfect - and especially the health of our children or grandchildren.

They are my greatest gifts and it's so very challenging to be worthy. I often think about my oldest daughter, when she had a chunk of her brain removed during emergency surgery when she was 14, and all the people who stepped up to save her live. Now she's a nurse and the mother of two fine boys.

I think about my newest grandson in North Dakota who could've had a severe brain defect, but didn't.  I'm thankful for all the people I don't even know who prayed for that boy.

I think about all the children who aren't so lucky, and the strong souls who make the best of their world when that kind of meteor strikes.

I know I'm sounding preachy, and I'm far from being a fine enough man to tell anyone how to live.

But this has been a big year of change for me, and part of that was my New Year's resolution to do as many positive stories as possible. I've done fairly well in that regard, although it's tough when everything seems so big and divided, with an outrage a week along with shiny cultural objects that float past almost every day, drawing social media dissection and yet more heated division.

It just doesn't feel like a thankful nation. Maybe we shouldn't spend so much time and energy getting wrapped up in stuff that really doesn't affect us, but divides us just the same.

Maybe look up from the recorded, digital outrage that abounds on our phones to the real-time beauty around us?

These days, I don't own much. I'm roaming and living pretty close to the bone, where it's easier to see just how much we have to be thankful for . . . and not just for one day of the year.