Dr. Bill Atwood

A country of blessings

On Thursday the nation will take the day to express thanks to God for the many blessings that we receive each day. We are truly blessed in this nation and we are envied by most people around the globe.

The worst off person living in this country is far better off than more than a couple billion other inhabitants of this planet. Our poor live with aid from churches and the government at levels that are generous to say the least. We are free to pursue the avocations we choose and are free to live where we wish to live. Houses of worship are numerous across this country and people are also free to not attend a worship service if that is their choice.

Schools are free to any child living here. Citizenship isn’t an issue for that child. When the kid arrives at the school house they are enrolled. Special needs for that child; we provide them. If that child needs breakfast or lunch on school days; we provide those meals. Medical care is provided and there are organizations that even provide housing, clothing, counseling, transportation and other services as well. The poor are given cellular phone services, albeit somewhat limited, in order for them to be connected as well.

Many of the rest of us have an abundance of goodies that make our lives so much better than our ancestors enjoyed. We live with utilities coming right into our homes along with fresh water. A couple of years ago a member of our church turned 105 years of age our pastor happened to ask her what technological improvement was the greatest she had witnessed. Without hesitation Nell told him, “Hot water in the house!” We see people living today all around the globe who must still carry water from creeks and lakes back to their homes. We’re blessed.

This past summer we had a number of fires in the area and we lost structures. Families were displaced and businesses affected. No injuries and no loss of life. The damage could have been far worse but we were saved from that by the men and women in the emergency services departments that stopped the infernos. They are a blessing.

Food is plentiful. Few go to bed really hungry here. Most of us could afford to shed a few pounds, myself included, and it is because our nation’s agricultural areas are tended by hard working folks who grow the food we eat. We need to remember that the food supply really is small. The food for 2015 hasn’t been grown as yet but we know it is coming from past experience. What a blessing.

We have great neighbors here. Most are honest, hard-working friendly folks who go about their business and along the way help others by donating time, talents, and treasure to local causes and the poorer amongst us. Good neighbors are a reason we fell so blessed.

We got to vote this month. While the Constitution protects us from governmental overreach the Veterans have ensured that the American government under that Constitution is the one in place and that the Nazi’s and Imperialists did not win the global wars. God bless those Veterans.

There are many other reasons to feel blessed but we must also look at our circle of friends and family. Those people in our lives that make us smile and help us through the hurts along with our colleagues at work who help us through each task and day have blessed us. When we remember to be grateful that most of us enjoy pretty good health and even those who are ill get great medical care we need to be thankful for the blessing from those maladies. TB, Polio, malaria, and other ailments that strike people around the world are not known here. Even Ebola is under control here as opposed to what is happening in Africa. Feel blessed.

On Thursday, as we sit down with people we love, let’s remember to be thankful for the people protecting us here and abroad, and let’s be thankful for all that we have and not complain about what we don’t have. My dad would remind me that it was important to keep my eye upon the donut and not upon the hole.

Along with all these blessings and a new nephew in the mix as well, I also include my thanks that each of you take time to read this column on a regular basis. Some disagree with what I write and some agree with my thoughts but you allow me to be a part of your Sierra Star reading experience and I thank you for that.

May you feel blessed by God each and every day and a very Happy Thanksgiving to each and everyone.