- Cullman, Alabama


November 22, 2012

Giving thanks, our common bond

CULLMAN — Nothing is more honorable than a grateful heart.  — Seneca

If you could look inside any home today, what different from your own setting would appear?

Cornbread dressing instead of oyster dressing? Baked sweet potatoes instead of sweet potato casserole?

Perhaps the color of skin of those seated around the feast would be a little different. Maybe they are Baptist, Methodist, Lutheran or Catholic.

Differences are often easy to notice, while the ties that bind us may be overlooked.

On this American holiday, this time of giving thanks from coast to coast, we are in some ways more diverse than ever. America’s ethnic makeup has broadened. We celebrate heritages, but on this day unity truly has place in America.

The act of giving thanks is rooted deeply in cultures around the world, but in the United States Thanksgiving Day is one of the moments when all Americans seem be united. And in that point is the foundation for our future.

Much has been spoken and written about race and rights throughout the history of our country. But what we fail so often to realize is that families and individuals are really the same in the quietest moments.

The hope for good health, a steady job, education, and the freedom to speak and worship without persecution are desires we carry with us through life. We want our children to be safe and how opportunities as they grow into adulthood. We seek decency and peace in our communities and the places near us.

America has been through a bitter struggle with economic downturn and divisive politics in recent years. But this day stands as a reminder that while imperfections and toil are common lots in life, a thankful heart brings redemption and hope.

Give thanks for all things, even the challenges of the day. The hearts of Americans are never far apart where the basic needs and hope of life are concerned. Let thanksgiving be the building block of our future.

We tend to forget that happiness doesn't come as a result of getting something we don't have, but rather of recognizing and appreciating what we do have. — Frederick Keonig



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