Itâ€™s time for the annual Thanksgiving column.
What a year it has been, but we have much to be thankful for. Sandy spared our home and our family is doing well. Many people in South Jersey lost everything during Superstorm Sandy and perhaps are thankful only that they are alive. But Americans are resilient and will find their way back.
It is often only during disasters that we unite and show the world the best that we can be. We are one country, of neighbors and friends who care about each other, and one government and one president whose role it is to step in and help those who need help beyond what friends and charity can offer. I think people are tired of all the politics and just want politicians to work together and do the job they were sent to do.
Last year we all wrote about who in our lives we are thankful for. The column, with a few adjustments, is still relevant today.
I am thankful for how my parents raised me, that they were very liberal Democratic activists who became my role models, both in business, where we ran our family auto supply stores together, and in politics.
Running a small business for more than 20 years gave me a perspective that many other left-wingers do not have. I understand what it is to be "Main Street" and how difficult it is to let workers go when business is slow, or worse. I understand what it means to not pay yourself for months so that the staff and bills get paid. And running a small business taught me organizational skills that proved very useful in my role as executive director of the Coalition for Peace and Justice.
I am thankful, too, that my parents believed in the power of education; that they were able to send me to the University of Pennsylvania. Of course in 1969 Penn was expensive, but nothing like what Ivy League schools cost today.
At Penn from 1969 to â€™75 I was active with the anti-war movement, and on the Pennsylvania staff of the McGovern Presidential campaign. Working for McGovern I again learned valuable organizing lessons. I am also thankful that at Penn I learned from teachers like Martin Seligman (psychology) and Jack Reece (modern European history), who helped teach me how to research, and the power of rational thought.
Now my dad has passed away and my mom is in a nursing home. I'm thankful that she is safe and taken care of. But I know how much my mom did not want to end up that way. I'd be more thankful if our country spent more on healthcare and less on warfare.
At age 61, I am thankful that I am still here â€“ still standing, to quote Elton John. As George Burns said many times, I wake up, get The Press and read the obituaries. If I'm not in them, I take on the day.
I am thankful to The Current and our editor who has allowed me this one third of the politics page to present a distinctive point of view that folks didn't have a chance to read before The Current took me on. And I'm thankful that Seth and Harry have their spaces and perspectives to bring, too.
Finally, as we all sit down Thursday to eat more food than a third-world nation, let's be thankful for how lucky we are, compared to many of our neighbors as well as much of the world. And letâ€™s promise to do something, anything to make life better for the 99 percent of the people of the world, even more than the 99 percent of us here in America.
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