October 29, 2012

On Thankfulness

Deuth,-Dave-colorBy David W. Deuth, CFSP
President, Weerts Funeral Home

When our founding fathers sailed across the Atlantic in search of freedom and a new way of life, they did so at untold risk. They did not have reliable communications systems. No ship-to-shore radios to notify others in the event of an emergency. No GPS to direct their course or affirm their location. No cell phones to stay in touch with family and friends. No weather radar to predict storms or surges of the sea. No lifeboats. And no bilge pumps to quickly remove water taken on by the ship.

I think it is fair to say that none of us today can truly fathom the depth of courage that was demanded of these brave men and women – nor the breadth of peril to which they were subjected day after day after day as they wagered their very lives against the attainment of that which they eagerly sought: freedom.

Remarkable as it is that these ships – and the majority of their passengers – endured such a journey, I find it more remarkable still that they, upon arriving safely at their intended destination, paused in unison for one sole purpose: to return thanks.

Perhaps, these centuries later, the thankfulness of mankind has been diluted – some may even say displaced – by a fast-paced, technologically driven society that now finds itself challenged to pause long enough to simply recognize the Thanksgiving holiday at all.

Indeed, Thanksgiving weekend is now reduced to being the official kick-off of the retail holiday shopping season, the final numbers of which will be crunched and analyzed to determine if we’re spending as much this year as we did last year. Stores will open at crazy hours with crazy bargains in order to attract the open wallets of shoppers who, absent the hype, may just be lured to buy their wares elsewhere.

Don’t get me wrong. We sure need our merchants and our economy to do well and thrive. And, the gift-giving season is most certainly an important part of many merchant’s annual sales.

But somewhere along the way, I hope that we can also take some undivided time – as our founding fathers did – to find ourselves being truly thankful during our Thanksgiving holiday. Whatever challenges we face, we still find ourselves living in the greatest country in the world. And, whatever challenges we face, we – like our forefathers – must embrace the responsibility of preserving our country and our freedom for future generations.

So, whatever we do this Thanksgiving holiday, let’s pause in unison for one sole purpose: to return thanks. We owe it to our forefathers, who fought so hard to earn it. We owe it to previous generations of Americans, who have fought so hard to maintain it. And, we owe it to future generations, who absent our diligence to do the same, may never experience it.

Thankfulness is something we can all afford to give this year.

Remember Well.