In a couple of weeks America will celebrate Thanksgiving and take a break from doom and gloom news for the day — just long enough for the media to eat turkey and celebrate. But then it will be back to “If it bleeds, it leads.”
Well, let’s buck that trend. This year I am challenging the media and all Americans. Could we please dedicate the rest of the month to talking more about what’s going right? Could each of us spend more than one day giving thanks for all we have to be grateful for in this country this year?
I will get the ball rolling with my own Top Ten List. But it barely scratches the surface of all the wonderful things happening, the amazing stories of heroes and all those making this nation and the world better. And so I want you to add to it. You can add anything from major national events to local news or even personal items from your own lives.
If every single person who reads this adds at least one item and then emails his list to others, it will transform our minds, our hearts and the landscape and the lives of all Americans by the time we sit down officially to give thanks on November 24.
Maybe it will make us realize how blessed our lives are and how wonderful it is to be alive in one of the greatest nations in the world.
Ten Amazing Things to Be Grateful For
- The Peaceful Transition of Power – Especially with all the tumult of our elections over the last couple of decades, it’s no small miracle that this nation successfully and peacefully transferred power for the 45th time in its history this year. Harsh words were spilled, not blood.
- No New Wars– At least at press time we still haven’t started a war with North Korea or any other nation. Despite all the rhetoric, we should be grateful and hopeful that diplomatic negotiations will prove successful.
- The End of Drought – Water deficit levels in the United States dropped to their lowest levels in 17 years according to the Drought Monitor, with only 6% of the nation now experiencing any form of drought, and states like California (which were steeped in multiyear water deficits) deluged by rainfall and snow.
- The Kids Are Alright – High school graduation rates are at record highs. This year the rate in the United States reached 83.2 percent according to the eighth edition of the annual “Building A Grad Nation” report. We have a lot of work to do on educating our youth, but let’s all be grateful for this.
- The Return of the Manatees – I lived in Florida for several years and grew fond of these big goofy and formerly endangered critters, so I had to include it. They’re back and growing in numbers due to heroic efforts by conservation teams and the cooperation of everyday folks across the state of Florida. Incidentally in the last few years we have also seen the Louisiana Black Bear and the Stellar Sea Lion of Alaska taken off the endangered list.
- Vets Healing Vets – In honor of Veteran’s Day I had to bring attention to the thousands of veterans from coast to coast who are reaching out to their fellow veterans to help in ways only they can. One in South Carolina is teaching them to fight Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) by learning how to surf. In May in San Diego, about 500 vets stripped down to their underwear to hike 10 miles in order to raise awareness of the problem of veteran suicide which I shared with you in a column a few weeks back. Several other vets walked all the way across the country this year (not in their underwear) to raise thousands of dollars and bring attention to that same issue. We applaud and salute you and all of our vets, and I hope that all of us can do our share to help.
- More Are Giving the Ultimate Gift – Organ donations continue to rise, up 20% in the last five years according to the United Network for Organ Sharing.
- Abortions On the Decline – The abortion rate continues to decline, according to a study by the Guttmacher Institute, and in 2014 (the latest year for which they have figures) the rate was the lowest it has been since the practice became legal in 1973. Regardless of your politics you probably agree that’s a good thing.
- A Cure for Alzheimer’s – Lost memories might not be gone forever, according to research released by Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). An enzyme that interferes with key memory-forming processes in people with Alzheimer’s can now be specifically targeted. Just imagine what this could mean to the more than 5 million suffering from this horrible ailment in America, as well as the millions across the globe.
- Unlimited Clean Energy Coming Soon – This is huge! Sustainable Nuclear fusion could produce huge amounts of energy with few byproducts other than saltwater. But researchers have been stymied in making the process efficient enough to be useful. This year MIT scientists discovered how adding a third ion to the traditional two-ion plasma mix increased their energy output ten-fold bringing us considerably closer to this miraculous energy source that could completely transform our world.
So that’s my starter list. I hope you are already thinking of your own. Cut and paste them in and then send the list out to work its magic on others.