Let everyday be ‘Thanksgiving’ in the land of the free and the home of the brave

Thanksgiving and America are inseparable — like turkey and stuffing — and it is no accident that the holiday rooted in the nation’s birth is the one we reserve to give thanks for all our blessings.

Yet everyday should be “Thanksgiving” in the U.S. because Americans have more reasons to be grateful than any other folk on earth — even at a cursory glance.

Joblessness, declining health, loss of a loved one, economic strife, and solitude can carve into our attitude of gratitude, but the American struggle loses relish against the distress of others around the globe: Nearly one in eight of the world’s seven billion people suffer from chronic hunger, and many of them live in developing countries that lack the basic essential to survival — safe drinking water. The contemporary “poor” American, by contrast, enjoys a much higher standard of living than even middle-class Americans did 30 years ago.

Today’s “impoverished” 99-percenters have a cellphone, cable or satellite television, wide-screen plasma and liquid-crystal display TVs, and personal computers hooked up to the web, while 40 percent own a dishwasher and 82 percent have air conditioning — more than twice the 1970 rate of 36 percent for all Americans — states the Heritage Foundation.

In addition, more than half of poor families with children own an Xbox or PlayStation video game system, while living in homes that are in good condition and roomier than that of the average European, www.heritage.org/research/reports/2011/09/understanding-poverty-in-the-united-states-surprising-facts-about-americas-poor“>reveals the organization. Heritage also discovered that “poor” families receive medical attention when required, and their quality of life doesn’t mirror the portraits of gloomy hardships widely promoted by activists and the mainstream media.

Lawbreakers in America have reason to be thankful, too.

In Mexico, for example, suspects are guilty until proven innocent and prisoners are sometimes required to pay rent on their cells, while authorities in Saudi Arabia punish thieves by chopping off their hands. Even illegal immigrants can be thankful here because civil rights advocates avail opportunities for them to live a better life than the one they fled.

Constitutional rights figure prominently on our platter of thanks as well. Americans can worship freely, express themselves fully, sue the government royally, and change genders completely if they so choose.

Even if you are unhappy now, there’s a good chance that you have known happiness — unlike the oppressed world’s tortured people, who can only dream about living in a place of bounty like the U.S.

Consider this, if you are still an ingrate: around 757,434 new citizens pledged allegiance to the U.S. last year. They, like the countless before them, know that here lies life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness — all wonderful reasons to celebrate “Thanksgiving” everyday in the land of the free and the home of the brave.


Read Shavana Abruzzo's column every Friday on BrooklynDaily.com. E-mail here at [email protected].