Thanksgiving time of celebrationPublished 9:38am Friday, November 23, 2012
In the age of mass farming, enhanced crops, and mega grocery stores we may forget the importance of a good crop harvest.
The harvest insured survival though an upcoming and hard winter, when nothing could be grown and the supplies gathered were all that stood between life and death.
The harvest feast was truly a celebration of the human spirit and the will to overcome adversity and to survive a sometimes cruel struggle with nature.
America has been blessed with many rich harvests, both of crops and of people. Americans are a good people, whose compassion for others has been a part of the American character and the distinctive core of our people since the first Thanksgiving.
Our charitable contributions are generous, and when crisis strikes Americans rush into the crisis, rather they are first responders risking their health and safety on 9/11, or regular folks flocking to the aftermath of Katrina or Sandy.
And, like every democratic nation, many Americans take their politics seriously, and consequently we have always alternative solutions to any problem and sometimes angry battles over what choice is best for the nation.
But lest we forget in the moment of conflict, we are one people, united by the culture of America that, while imperfect in many ways, has risen among nations by so many measures.
We have invented so much from cotton gins to computers; created so many feats of architecture from skyscrapers to dams; and have envisioned things like travelling to the moon and diving miles into the oceans.
We imagined flight like many before us, but then made it happen.
Today, at this annual time of harvest once again, some think really Big Things are no longer possible for us. They offer that we must back away from big ideas, end our visions of what can be imagined that can become real, but they are wrong.
America’s greatness does not lie only behind us, it lies ahead of us.
When the Russian Sputnik launched we did not say “They beat us”, we said “We can do better.” When the Japanese economy seemed to be eclipsing us, we did not surrender. We outgrew them in patents and in job creation and in innovation.
And now when some say we will collapse from our debt, we will not. Every Western nation faces similar or worse economic problems, but the American recovery has been the strongest, and in spite of our political disarray, we will go forward because the American model of innovation works.
Many of us no longer can come together as families this weekend because our jobs keep us away, our families move, and our budgets tighten in tough times.
But this is a time for thanksgiving, and can be, should be, a time for renewal, both individually and as a nation.
America will always be flawed, and always be challenged, but the core of the nation resides in our people and our system of government.
Happy Thanksgiving America!
Jim Crawford is a retired educator and political enthusiast living here in the Tri-State.