Morning Coffee: Giving Thanks (Week 1)

fallHalloween is over and November is here. We’re rushing head first into the holiday season and Thanksgiving is only three weeks away. For the month of November I’ll be blogging about the things I’m thankful for and I encourage my readers to comment, to share the things for which they give thanks. All I ask is that you keep it clean.

We are less than one week away from deciding who will be our next president after being subjected to what has arguably been the nastiest, the ugliest, of campaigns…at least in my lifetime. Despite this, I am thankful that we live in a country where we have this opportunity, the right to vote for our leaders. Granted, sometimes it feels like all we can do is pick the lesser of two evils, so to speak, but we have the right to do it. There are many countries where there are no options. Their leaders are the ones who carry the biggest guns and can intimidate (murder?) the most opponents. We don’t have to worry about that here in the United States. There are no military coups. There are no sham elections where your vote doesn’t matter because the winner has been predetermined. If an election doesn’t go as we wish, perhaps the only person we have to blame is ourselves.

Did you vote? No? Then you can’t complain about the outcome. Did you feel strongly about one of the candidates? Yes? Well, did you volunteer your time to help his or her campaign? No? Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference, but maybe it would have. We have options, and with those options comes great power.

I’m thankful I live in a democracy where we, as individuals as well as States and as a nation, have a voice. I love my country. I am proud to say I am an American. It seems every day we see on the news those who say they are not proud to be Americans; they are ashamed, even, to admit to being an American. That makes me sad. Are we a perfect country full of perfect citizens? No, of course not; there isn’t such a thing. That’s why we need our armed forces to protect us as a nation, our police to protect us as individuals, and our elected officials at all levels to consider our needs when passing legislation. It takes a village, as we’ve often heard, to raise a child. I say it takes a village to raise a proud and strong nation. We should try to be a part of the village that offers solutions, not the village that’s part of the problem. The democratic election process is part of the solution.

Remember this when you go to the polls. No matter which candidates win, be thankful you have this right. Be proud that you live in a country that honors and respects the people’s voice.

And don’t forget about those unable to get to the polls on their own. Help them contribute their voice to our great democracy by giving them a ride.

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