A season of thanks expressed in many ways

Dave Bergmeier

People taking time each day to express thanks for what they have had in the past year has become a tradition in November. It is most visible in social media posts.

Each statement opens a window into what each person is about and what is important to him or her. The project is timely because Thanksgiving is a time for all of us to give thanks for the blessings we have.

This year, like all of its predecessors, is one that we should take extra time to think about what we have. No doubt there have been many challenges, though what year has not had significant challenges?

Health, family matters, strained budgets, tough choices to be made. Those items always are going to be at or near the top of each year. There is not a magic wand to make those go away. A strong sense of faith is always rekindled, too, as Christians await the Advent season.

Heading to many market outlets, including malls, big box and grocery stores, people will be greeted by Salvation Army bell ringers. Many other worthy organizations are also out soliciting donations at public and private venues. It was only a year ago that many of these traditional campaigns were not visible—as a safety precaution because of COVID-19.

Once again, charitable organizations are making a push to boost their financial bottom lines and those proceeds can assist needy people in rural and communities. Even in the wealthiest and most giving nation in the world, there are Americans who truly need help and because of pride are less likely to ask for assistance.

The social media posts are a reminder of the compassion many have for their families and friends, and reading those helps remind others those relationships are something to hold onto. Intrinsic memories are worth far more money than material things we often hear about particularly as the Christmas ads bombard the airwaves and social media platforms.

Having grounded values puts those who live in the High Plains in a special place. Mother Nature’s fits of fury, droughts and today’s disruptions in supply chains causes many of us heartburn. Yet the grounded values make us appreciate the opportunities we have to help our neighbors and friends.

When any of us are in a crowded aisle and an elderly man or woman asks us to reach high to grab an item that is a blessing to him or her. Sometimes those gifts are a timeless treasure to a grandchild. Without our effort to help, it might make for a different Christmas season. Our ability to help others, inspired by family, friends, faith, classmates, 4-H, FFA and many other worthy groups, makes a difference.

The expansive High Plains has those key strengths and even with all the challenges of the past year we have not forgotten those life skills. The countdown for giving thanks is a reminder that helps guide our compass.

Dave Bergmeier can be reached at 620-227-1822 or [email protected].