His thoughts — Finding the sunshine

Published 12:00 pm Thursday, November 24, 2022

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Listening to the news in the last couple of years has been tough. Wherever you turn, there are stories that cause anguish. We left a war in Afghanistan with our tails tucked, leaving allies and high-tech equipment as if they meant nothing. We went into another war in Ukraine, with no better plan than ‘we must go in’. Leaving the question of when we will cut from this one and at what cost. We ignore the reality of our relationship with China, completely ignoring the fact that they have undercut the United States in every interaction with us.

Here at home, we have runaway inflation, crime in our streets, con artists who are able to scam hard working folks out of their savings and giving it to political campaigns. What is far more difficult is to see the wonderful things around us and be in awe of them. The beauty of the world is all around us. It may be in the form of nature around us. It may be the love of our family. It may be acts of kindness that we see all around us, such things as serving those in need of help. It might be those who choose a profession that improves the life of others such as teachers and law enforcement officers. These are the things that should bring sunshine in our lives.


This is the type of thing that comes to mind at Thanksgiving. A day that we can show our appreciation for all that is good in our lives. It is why early Virginia settlers gathered at Berkley Plantation to offer their thanks to the Lord for the bounty they found in the new land. Likewise, the pilgrims hundreds of miles to the north at Plymouth Rock were doing the same. Consider these thoughts from others as we share fellowship around the table much as our forefathers did.

“Thanksgiving is the holiday of peace, the celebration of work and the simple life…. a true folk-festival that speaks the poetry of the turn of the seasons, the beauty of seedtime and harvest, the ripe product of the year — and the deep, deep connection of all these things with God.” — Ray Stannard Baker

“Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow.” — Melody Beattie

“Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage; we humbly beseech Thee that we may always prove ourselves a people mindful of Thy favor and glad to do Thy will.” — Franklin Roosevelt.

“Thanksgiving reminds us that no matter what befalls us in life, we can take the charred remnants and we can reconstruct a life unimaginably richer than that from which the shards and pieces fell.” — Craig Lounsbrough

“When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.” — Willie Nelson

“Thanksgiving is one of my favorite days of the year because it reminds us to give thanks and to count our blessings. Suddenly, so many things become so little when we realize how blessed and lucky we are.” — Joyce Giraud

“On Thanksgiving I will stop to give thanks that my family is safe and healthy, especially because I realize that, following the tragedies of this year, it is all too real a possibility that they might not have been.” — Bobby Jindal (written after 9/11)

“Reflect upon your present blessings, of which every man has plenty; not on your past misfortunes, of which all men have some.” — Charles Dickens

“My most memorable meal is every Thanksgiving. I love the food: the turkey and stuffing; the sweet potatoes and rice, which come from my mother’s Southern heritage; the mashed potatoes, which come from my wife’s Midwestern roots; the Campbell’s green-bean casserole; and of course, pumpkin pie.” — Douglas Conant

“Stand up, on this Thanksgiving Day, stand upon your feet. Believe in man. Soberly and with clear eyes, believe in your own time and place. There is not, and there never has been a better time, or a better place to live in.” — Phillip Brooks

Frank Ruff Jr. represents Charlotte in the state Senate. His email address is Sen.Ruff@verizon.net.