By Russ Pankonin, The Imperial Republican Co-Publisher
During this special time of the year, we all need to step back and think about the blessings bestowed upon us and to give thanks for those blessings.
As I was preparing this column, one of the thoughts that crossed my mind was of my late father-in-law and mentor, Loral Johnson. Loral loved the holidays and everything it brought, but most especially he cherished the time to gather with family.
He often shared these experiences and his positive attitude in his columns, which gave me an idea. I went back into the archives and opened up some Thanksgiving issues to read what Loral had shared about this special time of year.
Amazingly, many of his thoughts from more than 10 years ago remain just as true today. So, I’ve decided to share one of his last Thanksgiving columns as publisher emeritus of The Imperial Republican.
A simple ‘thanks’ will do
By the late Loral Johnson
We spend far too much time of our lives complaining. Thursday will be Thanksgiving Day in America. Why not turn things around for the rest of this week? Just this week, every time you think of something negative, try a flip flop by merely smiling and saying to yourself, “THANKS” for being alive.
You might take it one step further by saying “THANKS” to the person or people within your speaking range, whenever that negative thought enters your head.
Each person has his or her own comfort threshold for smiling. Some have a lot more to smile about this year than others. It may be a tough time in your life, with economic, health or family struggles. It really doesn’t make any difference.
In fact, those struggling the most will have the most opportunities to smile and say THANKS because negative thoughts may enter their minds more often.
The November Thanksgiving holiday is strictly American. Tradition has it that the first one was celebrated by the Pilgrims and American Indians following a devastating winter plagued by hunger, illness and death.
In fact, some of the traditional stories indicate the menu was far from a feast. It possibly included only a few kernels of grain for each person, rationed so as to assure meager nourishment for the months ahead until the next harvest.
Yes, it meant a lot for them to say and feel, “THANKS for being alive and free.”
Regardless of your situation this Thanksgiving week, there is a multitude of things for which you can say THANKS. Start right now by selecting a few, such as:
THANKS for the opportunity to live in America. We have more freedom than any other country to express our political and personal views.
THANKS for not having to go hungry. Not a single person in Chase County needs to worry about going hungry this week. Even, if your cupboards are bare there is food at the Chase County Pantry.
THANKS for friends. Sometimes we bog down in our own struggles but there are those who can share in the burdens as well as joys.
THANKS for family. This is a special time to acknowledge family members at home or away.
THANKS for health and care facilities. It means a lot to have doctors, a hospital and nursing home to provide the help we need when ill or incapacitated.
THANKS for senior citizens in our community who genuinely care about the community and each other.
THANKS for schools and teachers who provide direction for our youth.
THANKS for young people with the enthusiasm and vigor to inspire everyone and help put our community on the map.
THANKS for the freedom to worship as we choose.
THANKS for successful completion of a good harvest.
We can go on and on. Why don’t you develop your own list.
Are you willing to join the fun. All it takes is a “SMILE” and “THANKS” every time a negative thought comes into your mind.