The following is a modified post ARPN has run each Thanksgiving since 2012:
Tomorrow is American Thanksgiving – a celebration of the blessings afforded by our forefathers as they overcame adversity in a new land, laboring to obtain from the resources around them the necessities of life: food, shelter, and warmth against winter’s cold.
Since that first winter, the bounty of Thanksgiving has become a symbol of the abundant resources the New World provided. From the raw materials that built our modern cities to the energy that has powered innovation in all its variety, these resources have enriched the lives of millions of people in America and around the world – making possible a way of life those who gathered around that first Thanksgiving table could never have imagined.
While the world around us appears to be in upheaval and rising prices may call for a scaled-back feast this year, there remains much to be thankful for, including the ingenuity and innovation that have, at neck-breaking speeds, yielded a vaccine and promising therapeutics to fight the coronavirus that turned life as we know it on its head for the past few years.
As we carve the turkey this year, we know that too many are still doing without the basic necessities of life – and their hardship may have even increased over the past few months.
And yet the resources around us – those literally under our feet – remain plentiful. All too often complacency and ideology lock us into inaction, blocking us from making use of the still-rich resources of this new world. Minerals, metals, fuel and timber that could create jobs, opportunities, new technologies and yet-to be invented advances for the American people and the world are left untouched.
Our forefathers understood privation and want. They understood that nature sometimes rewards tireless work with a poor harvest. But they also understood nature’s bounty. What they would find beyond comprehending in our day is the willful failure to use resources we have at hand to ease hardship and make a better life for ourselves and for others.
On this Thanksgiving, as we give thanks for our many blessings and continue to hope for an end to the pandemic and economic hardship, may we also remember the lessons dating back to Plymouth Rock, that teach us to use our resources — and our resourcefulness — to make an even newer and better world.