Now, for another perspective on being thankful, here is my good friend and writer extraordinaire Jim Woods with a few unconventional thoughts on the matter. Enjoy!
By Jim Woods
This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and I suspect that most of you reading this have plans to spend time with friends and family feasting on a sumptuous meal. I know I will be gourmandizing on various gastronomic delights, not the least of which will be of the fine fermented variety.
Now, amidst tomorrow’s day of celebration, I undoubtedly will be bombarded by numerous television news spots aimed at making me feel guilty for my bounty. Although not directed specifically at me, the purpose of these stories will be to remind me that I should feel fortunate to have a roof over my head, warm clothes on my back and a hot meal on my plate. Because, these stories will imply, it could be me — or any one of us — who suffers the indignity of poverty, hunger or homelessness.
The plight of those less fortunate, shown to us via remote telecast from the nearest homeless shelter or inner city soup kitchen, is supposed to be a stark reminder that those whose lives aren’t immersed in peril should be thankful for all that we have.
Well, to this I ask, thankful to whom? Who are the people responsible for providing us with the tremendous bounty most Americans enjoy?
This year, I want you to give thanks to those who truly deserve it.
This year, I want you to thank the men (and women) of genius who first discovered how to harness fire and how to forge tools for hunting. I want you to thank the men of genius who discovered how to cultivate crops and how to ferment grapes and create wine.
I want you to thank the men of genius who are responsible for creating the planes, trains and automobiles that delivered the bounty to your table. And I want you to thank the men of genius who, throughout history, plied their various trades — often in the face of unimaginable opposition — to help lift us all out of a squalid state of nature and into the magnificence that is 21st-century America.
And finally, I think we should all give extra thanks to the real unsung heroes, the capitalists, who put their money and their livelihoods at risk to fund the various enterprises throughout the ages that made modern life possible.
To all of the great capitalist heroes, I thank you from the very core of my own productive mind. I can offer you no greater tribute this Thanksgiving than to enjoy, without the slightest hint of guilt, the life-sustaining bounty you all have made possible.
This Thursday, we need to thank the men and women of genius, both past and present, who truly deserve the gratitude, yet who so often get nothing but condemnation in exchange for their tremendous achievements.
I toast you all in the name of the best within us.
Jim Woods is a freelance journalist specializing in the economy, the markets and politics. He is a frequent contributor to Doug Fabian’s Alert, as well as many other publications. He champions the cause of the men of genius from his home on the California coast. He welcomes your comments, and can be contacted at Woodsish@yahoo.com.