I have to confess, there are some things for which I am not grateful. I am not grateful for the Super Committee of 12 which was suppose to meet and fix the deficit problems we face as a nation. As Newt Gingrich, candidate for President in 2012, said, "That is the dumbest idea they've ever come up with". I'm not grateful for the argumentative dialogue that's come out of that committee, nor do I have any hope for them coming up with anything which will help America's economy. Democrats seem to want to take away so they can give away more of what we don't have and never have had. Republicans seem to want to stop giving away so they can stop taking away.
When you read this, we'll be picking the bones of the turkey, and wondering how in the world we could eat so much and have so many leftovers when the economy is so bad and Americans have so little. In between saying grace, chowing down on Turkey legs, and watching football, many folks are pouring over ads and shopping their telephones, ipads, and what-nots for the cheapest "thingy" for the lowest price. Many stores have decided to open on Thursday instead of Black Friday to get a jump on some other stores and grab up all the earlybird shoppers. Many of those shoppers will be using credit cards to grab up the bargains they cannot afford.
However, many folks who are out shopping for these cheaper "thingys" are buying them up in order to turn them into major profits on eBay when folks can't find the "thingy" that companies under-produced in order to create higher demand. It's always kinda intrigued me that Thursday is the day for Thanksgiving and the very next day (in fact, within hours of the last bite of pumpkin pie), Friday is for Greed.
How quickly we exchange gratitude for greed. For this attitude, I am not grateful. Have we always been this way? Have we always wanted more and more and not been satisfied with the abundance we have? I am ashamed to say that many times this has been true of me. Today I own no credit cards--for that I am grateful. Very grateful. I will not get any credit cards. I think they have been the downfall of America. I tell my grandchildren not to get credit cards, to save for what they want. I learned far too late in my life that "buy-now-and-pay-later" sucks the life out of you. You are a slave to your debt. It's the very reason America's in the shape she is in today. We are indebted to China and half of the rest of the world. If we do not stop borrowing to pay for things we think we have to have, we will never get out of the mess we are in.
Christmas is just around the corner. Gratitude for all we have gives most of us a heart to share what we have with others. It is virtuous to share what we have with others--but not what we don't have. We are downsizing our 3-bedroom home to the space of a garage. Not everyone has to do this. I do it because it is time to help others by living with less. I can't fix America. I can only fix me. Contentment comes to those who are satisfied with what they have and are grateful for life, family and the love of God. In this I rest today. I hope you do, too. Happy Thanksgiving!