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On Thursday many Americans will prepare to share in a feast consisting of more food and delicacies than half of the earth's population could even dream about. Today in our public schools our students are taught to reenact the first Thanksgiving feast between the settlers and the Native Americans in the new world. Although it is refreshing to see students engaged in this history-alive activity, as an educator and parent I often wonder, “Are we doing enough to teach and model to the current generation what it really means to be thankful?”
As a child growing up in the small town of Devers, Texas, the local minister used to fervently shout to the congregation, "Count your blessings and name them one by one!" I really didn't grasp the true meaning of this theological call to action until I became an adult. I now witness my own children often carelessly take for granted their blessings without giving a single thought to the world's population that doesn't have clean water to drink or a thanksgiving feast to enjoy. We have so much to be thankful for as Americans. We are blessed to have been born in a country that promotes the tenets of "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness."
This Thanksgiving let us all take a few moments to share personal stories of a time not too long ago when life was a little simpler, a time before the iPhone, iPad, and social media. Let us encourage our younger generations to be truly thankful for the intangible things. Let us not just be thankful for the turkey and dressing (and Black Friday sales!), but thankful for family, faith in God, friends and fellowship. As Americans let us be humbled, and spiritually and emotionally inspired to count our many blessings.
Dr. Walter Jackson
Superintendent of Schools
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