No. 271

Have you ever taken the time to think about the things you are really thankful for? As you know, we have a national holiday here in America called, “Thanksgiving Day”, a day set aside to be with family and friends and to reflect on the untold blessings we have in this country. Unfortunately, many people just see this holiday as a day off from work, with pay, and they don’t really think about what it means, especially in relation to that first thanksgiving when our forefathers came to these shores seeking a better life.
In addition to the natural things we think about, in this respect, like family, friends, freedom and food, I’m thankful for some very special people who have come into my life. One individual is Mike Hengel, publisher of the Log Cabin Democrat here in Conway who gave my column a chance back in 1995, because without him I may have never even thought about writing. After all, I had been doing other things for about 60 years.
Another individual that came along that I am really ‘Thankful” for is a fine Christian gentleman by the name of Max Heath. Max is the Vice-President and Executive Editor of the Landmark Community Newspapers based in Shelbyville, Kentucky. His main notoriety however, is that he serves on the board of the National Newspaper Association as their postal guru. No one in the country knows as much about postal rates, with regards to newspapers, as does Max Heath. Postal rates are often the difference between staying in business and folding up shop for many newspapers, especially weekly papers who don’t have home delivery.
I first talked with Max Heath on the phone several years ago and he previewed my column, liked it, and sent information to all of the editors in the company’s 44 newspapers. Since that time we have a majority of Landmark’s papers running my column and I got to spend some quality time with him when he came to present a postal seminar at our State Press Association Convention.
These thoughts came to mind recently when he sent me an article titled, “ I AM THANKFUL.” Read it with me and see if you don’t agree that what appears to be a burden is actually a blessing. I AM THANKFUL...“for the teenager who is not doing dishes but is watching TV, because it means he is home and not on the streets. For the taxes that I pay, because it means that I am employed. For the mess to clean after a party, because it means that I have been surrounded by friends.
For the clothes that fit a little too snug, because it means that I have enough to eat. For my shadow that watches me work, because it means that I am out in the sunshine. For a lawn that needs mowing and windows that need cleaning, because it means that I have a home. For all the complaining I hear about the government, because it means that we have freedom of speech. For the parking spot I find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means that I am capable of walking and that I have been blessed with transportation.
For my huge heating bill, because it means that I am warm. For the lady behind me in church that sings off key, because it means that I can hear. For the pile of laundry and ironing, because it means that I have clothes to wear. For weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day, because it means I am capable of working hard. And finally, for the alarm that goes off in the early morning hours, because it means that I am alive.” Thanks, Max, for reminding us to keep things in perspective. How we view our circumstances does make a difference. (Jim Davidson is a motivational speaker and syndicated columnist. You may contact him at 2 Bentley Drive, Conway, AR 72034.)