For a long time I believed Thanksgiving was a time to gather with family and enjoy a great meal and the company of the most important people in my life. I did have part of it right. Over time I came to realize it is a day to stop, reflect and be thankful for all the good things in life big and small. In the hustle and bustle of what we consider life today, we never stop to think about our blessings, only what needs to be done, what is next, what is in it for me and look at the things I have and don’t have. Let’s face it, most people face each day in a fairly superficial way. I will include myself. It is just too easy to be in that mode with the speed of life. Remember it probably wasn’t more than 6 years ago or so that most people started to wake up and check their text messages. Interesting fact: RCA introduced Telex in 1933, SMS first used in 1992 and 1998 is when the first commercial services were offered. Life just keeps moving faster. I am thankful I realize I need to slow down and count my blessing. We must do it more often. We should have a thanksgiving moment at the end of every day!
We must slow down and be thankful for the little things. The little things are the big things. Let’s go back to the original colonists where the thoughts and traditions of this day are based. They came here to escape religious persecution, they came here to start their own lives and live on their own terms. They were hard working and their success was completely based on the fruits of their labor. Keeping the fruits of your labor is the ultimate in freedom. The ultimate form of slavery is someone else owning/taking the fruits of your labor. I am thankful I am able to be productive and provide for myself and my family. I am thankful that my hard work is valued.
The founders, having been part of building the original colonies, did not want to be controlled by men/a man in a distance place that they could not influence, or even constrain power. You have heard “taxation without representation.” They had no way to withhold payment of taxes and duties or influence decisions by the crown. They were losing their liberties and losing control of the fruits of their labor. They chose to break away from England and create independent states and the Articles of Confederation. It established the 13 colonies as a confederation of 13 sovereign states. I am thankful they had the enlightenment to protect individual liberties.
the Articles provided domestic and international legitimacy for the Continental Congress to direct the American Revolutionary War, conduct diplomacy with Europe and deal with territorial issues and Native American relations. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Articles_of_Confederation
The power to govern ourselves, provide leaders in the community to work with other communities to make a stronger whole, yes, we do need government, but we want to keep it close, we need to know the person governing and have the ability to influence the direction they are taking and constrain their power. We must live by the laws we create.
Realizing the continental congress needed more power to make a strong union, they drafted the constitution. A document of negative rights. As the Declaration of Independence stated:
We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.
So the constitution basically gave some of our unalienable rights, in the form of enumerated powers, to a central government to help protect and strengthen our union and secure our rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness/property. The constitution does not grant us our rights, we already had them. Read the John Locke treaty on Natural rights:
Recognizing the power belonged to the people and the governments they choose to organize in their communities. Each state has a constitution and its own governing bodies. I am thankful that I have the ability to choose my leaders and take advantage of my rights, not beg for them from a central government.
I will post a future blog on “Take care of yourself and your family, do what you said you would do and don’t harm others.” The three tenants of self-government and true liberty and a the true need for a government to ensure that kind of environment exists. I am thankful I have the freedom to speak my opinion and a right to my own thoughts.
So, I not only give thanks to my family, their love and the people in my life that make it special and enjoyable, I thank the founding fathers for having the insight to protect my life, liberty and property. It is up to me to keep those rights, be a good citizen and be someone that other people are thankful for in their lives. But I am in control of the fruits of my labor and my life and I must keep up the fight. Please take time to be thankful for what you have in your life and the men who risked their lives and fortunes to protect our liberty and enjoy this day!
Remember and be thankful for the little things, they are the big things.