Story type: Essay
Thanksgiving Day, November 27, 1902.
Let us be thankful first of all for one great right:
The right, when dissatisfied, to SAY that we are dissatisfied, and to try to make things better.
Let us be thankful that every man–with few exceptions–has a holiday to-day.
However bad our national affairs may seem, let us be thankful they are no worse. And above all let us be thankful that we have the power and the constitutional right to change things, just as soon as we become wise enough to use our ballots. —-
Let us be devoutly thankful for the PUBLIC SCHOOLS, for the fact that every child is taught to read and encouraged to think. The nation now declares that a child has a right to food for the mind, as long as the child behaves properly. We are not so far from the day when human decency will declare that every child and every human being has a right to food for the BODY also, as long as they behave, and are ready for honest work. Let us be thankful for the constantly growing recognition of human rights.
The workingmen of America are better paid than they have ever been before. More of them than ever are at work, and the unions which protect them are more powerful than ever–let us be thankful for these facts. The whole nation prospers when the workers of the nation are busy and well paid.
Science has been, and is, making wonderful progress, explaining for us daily the problems of the universe. Every man must be thankful that highly specialized brains are constantly at work piling up knowledge for him.
As a nation we are too big to fear successful attack, and we are, it is to be hoped, too sensible to seek trouble with others. Let us be thankful that all things point to continued national, mental development on peaceful lines, free from the horrible wholesale murders, called war, that have bled and weakened all people through the ages. —-
Each of us individually has reason for thankfulness.
If you can feel that you are honestly trying to do your duty, that is much to be thankful for.
If you are dissatisfied with yourself, you should be thankful for the power of self-condemnation– and thankful especially that you have long and blessed TIME ahead of you to make up for your mistakes and improve your record.
We live in a wonderful age–wonderful in the fact that life and liberty are fairly secure; wonderful in freedom of conscience.
You can believe in Heaven, Hades, Christian Science, or in nothing at all–and as long as you do not interfere with others, no one can imprison you, or question, or burn you at the stake. —-
We should all be especially thankful for the steady awakening of the national mind. We all pursue wealth–and doubtless circumstances compel us to pay too much attention to that line of effort. But we are all THINKING also. There are a thousand times more thinking, reading men and women to-day in America alone than lived on earth half a century ago. Love of knowledge is spreading, and with love of knowledge, love of justice and a sense of fairness will always be found.
Our material prosperity is great. But it is out- balanced by our mental prosperity. We are becoming a nation of THINKING men and women, and since that means real development, we have all reason to be thankful.
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