Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

December 5, 2012

Thanksgiving fallout on personal blessings

By Keith Kappes - Publisher

Dec. 5, 2012 —     The mailbox overflowed after my recent column on putting thanks back into Thanksgiving.

    Two submissions from readers in particular struck a responsive chord. I am sharing them today because of their remarkable similarities.

    The first came from someone who said the anonymous text had been passed along as a Thanksgiving poem.

    It apparently is read aloud each year as many families sit down to dinner on that special day.

    I haven’t tried to verify the statistics used in the piece because they aren’t nearly as important as the message.

    “If you woke up this morning with more health than illness…you are more blessed than the million people who will not survive this week.

    If you have never experienced the danger of battle, the loneliness of imprisonment, the agony of torture or the pangs of starvation…you are ahead of 500 million people in the world.

    If you can read…you are more blessed than more than two billion people in the world who cannot.

    If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a safe place to sleep tonight… you are richer than 75 percent of this world.

    If you have money in the bank, in your wallet, and spare change in a dish somewhere…you are among the top eight percent of the world’s wealthy.

    If your parents remained married throughout their lifetimes…you are very rare, even in the United States.

    If you hold up your head with a smile on your face and are truly thankful…you are blessed because the majority can but most do not.

    If you prayed yesterday and today…you are in the minority because you believe God does hear and answer prayers.”

    The other submission came from a longtime fan of the “Dear Abby” personal advice column which was started in 1956 by Pauline Phillips under the pen name of Abigail Van Buren.

    The column is carried on today by her daughter, Jeanne Phillips, who owns the legal rights to the pen name.

     This piece is a copyrighted prayer written by the original “Dear Abby” which runs each year in that nationally-syndicated column. It, too, is worth remembering.

    O heavenly Father:

    We thank thee for food and remember the hungry.

    We thank thee for health and remember the sick.

    We thank thee for friends and remember the friendless.

    We thank thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

    May these remembrances stir us to service

    That thy gifts to us may be used for others.