Thankful for Rural Life

On this cold, Christmas season morning, I am reflecting on what makes me thankful.
I am thankful for rural life – where I run into friends who tease me, tell me jokes or lend a friendly smile at the store or my son’s basketball game. I am thankful for a sense of place, that I am firmly rooted in the American Heartland.  I am thankful for being raised on the land and having all around me its subtle beauty.

I am thankful for being a part of a family that embraces our responsibilities to each other.  I am grateful for being raised in a way that taught me to make, fix and grow things, as well as to understand, speak and write about things.

We face stern challenges in America.  Wealth is concentrating and the middle class is shrinking, as more families face unemployment and insecure retirements.  Rural communities are struggling to survive. And government has become dysfunctional and unable to respond effectively.

But we have the capacity to address each of these challenges.  In America, we have the opportunity to right the wrongs and take control of our destiny through the democratic process.  It is up to us to use it.

Nothing ever got better by sitting around complaining. Things get better when ordinary citizens embrace their responsibility to make things better, by the actions they take in their personal lives, communities, organizations and government. I am thankful for every American who embraces that responsibility.

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