A Thanksgiving

I’m thankful for family – the one that gave me a moral education by example, the one I joined through marriage, and the one my wife and I have founded for ourselves.

I’m thankful for ancestors who took a courageous leap of faith bringing their families to a wilderness in search of freedom. I’m thankful they either brought with them the English and Celtic traditions of freedom or chose to assimilate into those traditions. I’m thankful they tried to keep what was good in the Southern, New England, and Midwestern societies they ultimately found wanting.

I’m thankful they chose the Treasure Valley as their new home.

I’m thankful for strangers who stop to help if your car breaks down or slides off the road, without asking for a dime. I counted nearly a dozen in the time it took to get my dad’s car out of the snow two weeks ago. One man gave over an hour of his time helping us after he just finished pulling his wife’s car out, despite the sizable amount of plowing he still had to do on his own property. I’m sure he ended up working long into that cold night.

I’m thankful for neighbors who take it upon themselves to clean up and care for the common areas neglected by government and large property management corporations.

I’m thankful for a church that jumps at every chance to serve its members’ needs, who “rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.”

But I realize the people I live with have less and less to be thankful for each year.

Idahoans are allotted four out of the 535 members of the U.S Congress. Communities have no explicit representation in the governing body that makes the most important decisions we live under. The urban majorities dominate the decision-making process, regulating small family farms out of existence and giving large bribes to the most powerful corporate interests in “flyover country” to ensure the rest of us are kept poor, dependent, and underemployed.

The elites take to the media to inform us that our poor, backward way of life is caused by an insufficient dependency on government welfare – which in turn is caused by our refusal to accept that we ought to pay higher taxes to the government that wages war on our rural livelihoods.

Something tells me the elites have it all wrong. Discontent is growing, and with good reason. But I have yet to see it displace the larger gratitude for the blessings we still have.

Most of all, I’m thankful to live among such thankful people.


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