Why All Americans Should Be Thankful

With the official holiday of Thanksgiving being just a few days away, I thought it very appropriate to dedicate my column today to an attempt to venerate this uniquely and very American holiday. Almost every one of us know the history and storyline of this historical holiday that goes back to the Pilgrims and Native Americans, who came to their rescue. It is an episode of American history that needs to be celebrated and commemorated in our schools, as well as our houses of worship. This is certainly the case when we consider how divided and polarized we have become as a nation. The story of Thanksgiving showcases what was good and great about America from her infancy. It is a saga that demonstrates the compassion and charity of the original Americans towards European immigrants, who would ultimately replace them as the dominant people of this land.
I have been very fortunate to travel to four continents (Africa, Europe, Asia, North America) and is scheduled to visit my fifth one (South America) in 2018. I have interacted with diverse people and cultures in my travels from Nigeria to Turkey, from Israel to Greece, from England to India, from the Netherlands to Canada, and across much of America; I have discovered that people are the same. Though their language, culture, politics, and religious beliefs may vary, there are common bonds that connect all of us together, whether we realize it or not. We all have the same basic needs in order to survive and long for some of the same social and communal interactions. Since every frog should praise his own pond, I am going to devote the remainder of my column briefly considering why as Americans we all should be thankful. To be thankful does not mean that we should be silent and indifferent about the negatives and things about our nation that need to be addressed and rectified. The fact that our Constitution gives us the right to protest and even criticize our government and the powers that be on every level is one of the things that makes America great. It is one of the things for which we should be thankful.
I have visited some nations where it was illegal and even dangerous for a citizen to criticize or publically disagree with their government. Quite a few dissidents, in these countries whose governments sensor and suppress the truth and voices of opposition, have either been imprisoned or gone mysteriously missing without a trace of their whereabouts. We should also be very thankful that in spite of our many negatives and defects as a country, we are still the nation that affords its citizens the greatest opportunities for educational, employment, and entrepreneurial advancement. Sure there are challenges and often hindrances that many minorities and socio-economically disadvantaged people must overcome; however, such people who are ambitions, resolute, and diligent stand a better chance of achieving their goals in America than in any other nation on the face of the Earth, barring none. This is why America is still the choice for most people around the world, who desire to leave their county for a land of better opportunities. What about our educational system, especially on the college and university level? Though it is a fact that our public and private schools, from kindergarten through the twelfth grade, by some estimations and ratings, have fallen out of the top five among the developed nations in regard to science and mathematics, our colleges and universities, for the most part, are still the envy of the world. More people from around the world prefer to get their undergraduate and graduate degrees from American colleges and universities than any other country in the world. Our institutions of higher learning have spun more Nobel Prize laureates in the fields of physics, chemistry, medicine, and economics than any other nation in the world. Another thing that we Americans can be thankful for is our Republic and triad form of government with checks and balances. In spite of all the problems we have encountered recently due to partisan gridlock, political polarization and other issues that have perhaps made both the executive and legislative branches of our government the most incompetent and ineffective in recent memory. Our government is still one of the most stable and reliable in the world. Another very important reason for every American to be thankful is due to the fact that our economy is still the largest and most stable one in the world, in spite of the rise of China as an economic power. It is estimated by those in the field of economics that the poorest Americans are rated in the top percentage of the world’s richest people when compared with the total population of the world. Believe me when I say that what many poor Americans take for granted (i.e. electricity and electrical appliances, bathrooms, modest living quarters, and vehicles to drive to and fro) are considered as luxuries and things that only the rich can afford in many of the counties around the world. Finally, in my opinion, the thing that I am most thankful for about being an American is the religious freedom that the Constitution affords me. Though these Constitutional rights have been under attack by many from the liberal left, who are attempting to change our culture and embrace of traditional family values that are consistent with Judeo-Christian beliefs, there are those of us who are diehards in the belief that America was founded upon biblical principles and that observing these principles made us the most prosperous nation in the history of the world. We are determined not to bow or give in to the pressure or persecution of the radical left. We thank God that both the Bible and our Constitution gives us the right to reject practices like abortion, the LGBT lifestyle, and other abominations that are dogmatically deemed to be immoral, sensual, sinful, and evil in the sight of God. Yes, we Americans have a lot to be thankful for, not just during this Thanksgiving season, but all the year round. Thank God that we are blessed to be citizens of a great nation whose Maker and Builder is God. May we ever be mindful and thankful to Him who made us who we are and bring ourselves back into His favor by repenting and turning from our wicked ways. Hopefully, we will learn from the grave mistakes of cultures and nations of the past, who forsook their Creator, sowed the wind of rebellion, and ultimately reaped the whirlwind of divine judgement and wrath. The following Scriptures are very appropriate to conclude my column with today: “The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” (Psalm 9:17); “Behold, the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance: behold, he taketh up the isles as a very little thing. And Lebanon is not sufficient to burn, nor the beasts thereof sufficient for a burnt offering. All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity.” (Isaiah 40:15-17)

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