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WHAT I’M GRATEFUL FOR THIS THANKSGIVING AThank-You Letter to America
T hanksgiving is coming up, and families across the country will be gathering to reflect on the things for which they’re most grateful. Whenever the time comes to say grace around the Thanksgiving table, family, faith, health, and happiness always come up first — and for good reason. I’m incredibly thankful for the loved ones in my life and all the opportunities I’ve been given. But I’d also like to add one more vital item to that list: country. I feel extraordinarily lucky to have been born in the United States of America where freedom, liberty, and opportunity are the norm. Looking back on our history, I can’t help but be grateful for the pilgrims who took the risk to cross the Atlantic Ocean to seek religious freedom. It’s easy to forget just how remarkable our constitutionally protected freedom to practice whatever religion we choose really is. We can’t be thrown in jail for our ideals, and we’re not forced to subscribe to whatever ideology the government espouses. As a man of faith, I think that’s a wonderfully powerful thing. It’s also difficult to overstate just how lucky we Americans are to live our day-to-day lives under the rule of law. Because of the relatively
low levels of corruption, our collective trust in our laws and our law enforcement officials, and the relative safety of the places where most of us live, we’re able to own property, accumulate wealth, conduct business, and raise a family without having to worry about the government confiscating our possessions. Of course, all of this is largely thanks to capitalism, which in my opinion is the best economic system the world has ever seen. Our roads, hospitals, and untold technological advancements are funded by the benefits that come hand in hand with a capitalist ideal. My grandparents were born at the turn of the 20th century. Before they died, they went from traveling via horse and buggy to automobiles and then airplanes. All that progress happened in one generation! There’s simply no other organizational structure that encourages such innovation and produces such amazing improvements in the quality of life for so many. I’ve long believed that I and the millions of others born in the United States were born with the proverbial silver spoon in our mouths compared to many parts of the world. During my time in the military and my early business career in the 80’s and 90’s, I traveled to different
parts of the world. Following the collapse of the USSR, I was able to see for myself the deception and despair that socialism produced in Eastern Europe. I also saw the utter poverty and hopelessness that a socialist dictator caused in Nicaragua. And having witnessed that back then, I can only imagine the chaos going on right now in Venezuela. It’s tragic and senseless. Does America have challenges? Of course it does. No matter what side you’re on, one look at the news will convince you of that. But despite that, there’s no other place I’d rather live. Whenever I travel abroad, I am always thankful to be back on American soil when I return home. This is truly the land of opportunity because of the divinely inspired ideas and ideals that have resulted in over 200 years of progressively increasing standards of living, security and safety for our citizens that other countries can only dream of, and individual freedoms that are delineated in and protected by our constitution. Now that’s something to be thankful for!
President, Risk Services of AR
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