Today, we gather with families and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving Day.

We will observe the day with traditions unique to our clans, and for many, it will be a day filled with feasting on food and settling down with some serious football.

Amid all the activity, it’s easy to forget what this day is all about — offering thanks for all the blessings we enjoy. It is a day to reflect on the good things in this country and a time to realize that with all its faults, America is still the best place on Earth.

We complain about our government and our politicians and forget that we can do so without reprisal because we are guaranteed freedom of speech.

We look at the negatives in our society, forgetting that every day, thousands of decent, law-abiding citizens go about their day doing good, treating their fellow man with respect and making a positive difference in this world.

TV images portray negative stereotypes about our young people, when, in fact, thousands of our teens are involved in all kinds of meaningful academic and charitable pursuits.

Thanksgiving Day should be a time of reflection on the generosity that abounds in this country, and especially in southern West Virginia.

Every week, this newspaper prints stories of churches, civic groups, concerned citizens and agencies that are raising money to help the less fortunate. Many families are having a Thanksgiving meal today because people with a desire to reach out have made it available.

Gobbled up by criticism and cynicism, gratitude seems to be getting scarce these days.

And yet, we have so much for which to be thankful.

Gratitude has a lot to do with perspective. We can either see the glass as half-empty or half-full.

Thanksgiving Day should be the day for the latter.

It should also be a day that brings us in touch with things that matter all the time. The love of family, fellowship with good friends and joining together in fun, worship and reflection on all that’s right about our communities, our nation and our world should continue year-round.

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