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Our Opinion

Our Opinion: The choicest bounties

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For many of us, this may be the first Thanksgiving on which we’ve gathered with relatives in several years; 12 months ago COVID still threatened to turn family gatherings into super-spreader events.

This year the outlook appears safer, though the virus continues to linger like an unwelcome party guest who refuses to leave.

Then there’s the average price of gasoline statewide, projected to be around $3.33 per gallon.

Or fears among many of us that the talk at the dinner table might take an unfortunate turn. (Turkey and dressing served with side dishes of politics rarely goes down very easily.)

All that aside, we hope everyone will be able to share the holiday with someone they appreciate — and someone who shares in the appreciation of our blessings.

In America, we’ve become accustomed to a certain standard of living; for this alone we should feel grateful. Even in times of financial stress, most of us can afford food on the table and roofs over our heads.

Not all of us can, however. We need to be mindful of that.

Let’s be mindful as well that, for all the work yet to be done to make ours a more perfect union, we remain a very fortunate nation in so many ways.

In that spirit, we share some of our favorite reflections on Thanksgiving:

It becomes us to set apart a day for gratefully acknowledging the divine goodness and celebrating the important event which we owe to His benign Interposition.

— George Washington

We have been the recipients of the choicest bounties of heaven; we have been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity; we have grown in numbers, wealth and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we have forgotten God. We have forgotten the gracious hand which preserved us in peace and multiplied and enriched and strengthened us, and we have vainly imagined, in the deceitfulness of our hearts, that all these blessings were produced by some superior wisdom and virtue of our own.

Intoxicated with unbroken success we have become too self-sufficient to feel the necessity of redeeming and preserving grace, too proud to pray to the God that made us.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that God should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole American people. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November as a day of Thanksgiving and praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the heavens.

— Abraham Lincoln

Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds.

— Theodore Roosevelt

Searching our hearts, we should ask what we can do as individuals to demonstrate our gratitude to God for all He has done. Such reflection can only add to the significance of this precious day of remembrance.

Let us recommit ourselves to that devotion to God and family that has played such an important role in making this a great Nation, and which will be needed as a source of strength if we are to remain a great people.

— Ronald Reagan

I am grateful for what I am and have. My thanksgiving is perpetual.

— Henry David Thoreau

If the only prayer you ever say in your entire life is thank you, it will be enough.

— Meister Eckhart

This food is the gift of the whole universe — the earth, the sky, and much hard work. May we live in a way that makes us worthy to receive it.

— Thich Nhat Hanh

If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share.

— W. Clement Stone

Over the river and through the wood

To grandfather’s house we go.

The horse knows the way

To carry the sleigh

Through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river and through the wood,

Now grandmother’s cap I spy.

Hurrah for the fun!

Is the pudding done?

Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

— Lydia Maria Child

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