‘The best of now and here’ - finding reason to be thankful
In this 14th year of this 21st century, a time when one would have thought man would have become even more civil, it appears he still has far more in common with the very earliest of his ancestors.
Just as Neanderthal man was prone to cruelty and acts of violence in his daily struggle to survive, it appears that the 21st century man is still exhibiting his darker side though we live in what many say to be a time of enlightenment.
We need not look far to find stories and images of 21st century man’s cruelty: Islamic State beheadings, the abandonment, torture and killings of far too many indefensible children — and animals. Bullying, body shaming, racism, instances of global police and military brutality.
The more we would care to search, the more we are sure we could add to our list of atroticities but perhaps, in this very beginning of the holiday season, it would be best to focus not on mankind’s evil, but his goodness.
Even though our nation is rife with division among our political parties and social strata, and many are “making do” or worse, “doing without,” we have to nonetheless pause to give thanks. If we have nothing more to be thankful for this upcoming holiday than life itself, then let us be thankful for our beating hearts and air-filled lungs.
Though times are tough, and we hear over and again that they are, those of us fortunate enough to be alive, to be healthy, to possess intelligence, to have family and friends, to have shelter, food, jobs ... love — are among the wealthiest in the world.
Thanksgiving Day was set aside as a federal holiday in 1863, during the Civil War, by President Abraham Lincoln. He proclaimed the holiday as a national day of “Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.” In this 21st century of political correctness, such a holiday would most likely never get past the Congressional doors.
Indeed, it does feel very often that evil has overtaken the world, but we dare say, “not yet.” In our little corner of the eastern Kentucky mountains, we are not exempt from evil but we do see much good to give praise and thanks for. A new animal shelter is coming to help ease the pain, hunger and loneliness of homeless animals; local civic organizations are conducting programs to help provide shoes, coats, mittens, hats and scarves to keep our children warm; area churches are hosting free Thanksgiving dinners for those who need a warm meal, a helping hand, a shoulder to lean on, an ear to listen; and, as always, eastern Kentucky families will continue to care for one another as generations of strong individuals with strong ties have always done for so very long.
“No longer forward nor behind I look in hope or fear; But, grateful, take the good I find, the best of now and here.” — John Greenleaf Whittier
This coming Thanksgiving 2014 — in this 21st century of good and evil — we wish you and yours much to give thanks for.
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to the Johnson County Middle School 7th grade football and cheerleading teams — great showing at state!
A dart to the many cracks and potholes on College Streets. Let’s clear the bumps!
A laurel to the Bank Mule Long Haul runners — it was a tough course but they proved tougher!
A dart to frauding government programs — it hurts more than a few and makes it harder for those who deserve benefits to get them.
A laurel to the county fiscal court and its annual remembrance of our nation’s veterans.
What are you thankful for?
“Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others,” ~Cicero.
Thank You. It is a phrase that we have heard throughout our lives. A phrase that our parents tried to teach us the importance of using and one that is nice to hear from time to time. Saying thank you lets people know that you appreciate what they have done for you. There are many out there who are bringing that phrase to light during this month.
If you are one of those people who find themselves on social media sites like Facebook then you have probably noticed a fairly recent trend for the month of November, no we are aren’t talking about ‘No Shave November.’ We are talking about the thirty day thankfulness challenge.
Those who choose to participate in the challenge take to social media and post something different that they are thankful for each day. It is sort of like those who participate have found a way to celebrate Thanksgiving, you know that holiday that follows Halloween and is before Christmas.
Is there a better way to take back the holiday than to share with the world, or at least those online, what you have to be thankful for?
We have seen many people post about how they are thankful for their friends and family. Some post about how they are thankful that they have a job given the current economy. We all have something to be thankful for.
Although it is easy for us to get sidetracked in life and forget that there actually are many things for all of us to be thankful for, it is time for us to take up that challenge. For instance, just this past Tuesday members of the community got together and thanked those who have served their country as part of a Veterans Day Celebration.
A simple thank you can change someone’s day. You can do your part to remind someone that there are people who appreciate what they do.
We should always take the time to be thankful, but a 30 day challenge is a good start. Will you accept the challenge?
The Paintsville Herald is thankful for our community and all our readers and subscribers.
Darts and Laurels
A laurel to the great turnout to the annual Veterans Day telethon — helping local veterans is admirable!
A dart to fishing for dropped glasses, wallets, etc. while driving. Best to let them lay until you are safely off the road and parked!
A laurel to our teachers — county and city — we appreciate the great job you do and your desire to always do more!
A dart to animal cruelty — only the very evil can torture and injure the innocent.
A laurel to the Humane Society of the United States for offering a $5,000 reward in the case of “Cello,” a severely abused German Shepherd. We hope to see justice done!
McConnell offers hope for agreements
Lexington Herald Leader
The day before Kentucky voters resoundingly rewarded him with a sixth term, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “I don’t believe our state has ever had two senators in a better position to influence the course of events in our country than we have right now.”
McConnell is setting the bar high for himself and his counterpart Rand Paul.
But McConnell is entitled to lofty ambitions. If Republicans win control of the Senate, which appeared likely, McConnell will be within easy reach of his long-time dream of being the Senate’s majority leader.
McConnell played on deep antipathy toward President Barack Obama in Kentucky to overcome his own unpopularity and defeat Democratic Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes.
But last week McConnell told reporters “our first goal will be to see if there are things we can agree on with the president.”
Possible areas of agreement, McConnell said, include tax reform, trade deals and the Keystone Pipeline.
Reaching agreement will be tough. Republicans won’t control enough seats to overcome an Obama veto or Democratic filibusters.
But McConnell, the master strategist, is smart to look for agreement. Americans tell pollsters they are most concerned about the economy and are tired of gridlock in Washington.
If he becomes majority leader, McConnell, already Kentucky’s longest serving senator, would be the highest ranking Kentuckian in Congress since Alben Barkley 60 years ago.
We congratulate McConnell on this momentous victory.