The year has passed so quickly, it’s hard to remember where the days have gone. Our lives are so fast-paced with hardly a minute to sit quietly and reflect on the bounty in our lives.

That’s why it is so important to take time today —Thanksgiving Day — to think about our lives and those things for which we are grateful.

It’s not all about the money or possessions — although if you have those things, you should most certainly be thankful for them. Especially now. There are so many souls, not just in foreign lands, but here at home, whose lives have been shattered by acts of nature.

You might think you don’t have much, but when you compare your life to the survivors of the tsunami, Gulf Coast hurricanes and the earthquake in Pakistan, you could consider yourself among the world’s richest. Not only do you still have your home, but you the photos, drawings and other tangible memories of a lifetime upon which you can look back and be thankful for a good life.

For most of us in southern West Virginia, there will be a good meal on the dinner table today. Be thankful. There are millions around the world who do not enjoy the bounty that we share.

Those who enjoy good health are blessed. Too often we take for granted the ability to stand, walk, talk and hear, for there are many who cannot.

We can be thankful we live in a beautiful state called West Virginia. It is not an accident it’s been called “Almost Heaven.” Yes, we take our lumps in many national rankings. But you won’t find better neighbors than you have in your fellow Mountaineers. Be thankful for them, too.

On a broader scope, we must give thanks that we live in the United States in a land where we are free to worship as we please — or not; to speak as we wish, even to criticize our leaders without fear of reprisal. There remain many in the world who cannot.

By all means, enjoy your turkey today, the parades, the football games and other Thanksgiving traditions.

But please don’t forget the true spirit of this holiday, down through the years from the Pilgrims who were thankful to have made it to the New World and survived to tell the tale until now nearly 400 years later.

Yes, it’s a crazy world and there are many things we would like to change.

Prayers today — thanking the Higher Power for what we have and beseeching Him to help us make the world a better, safer place — are a good place to start.

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