By the time this weekly column is published, Thanksgiving Day will be right upon us. While many are looking forward to a wonderful time filled with family, friends, food and football, we should also consider ourselves truly fortunate - and be thankful - for all the blessings we have. So, before the turkey is carved and the stuffing is passed, take a moment to reflect on the abundance of blessings we have been given and how truly fortunate we are to live in the United States of America. The following are just a few of the many things I believe each of us can be thankful for this Thanksgiving holiday.
BE THANKFUL FOR THE OPPORTUNITY TO PROVIDE FOR YOUR FAMILY
Without question, many people are still hurting from the tough economy that has left more than 700,000 New Yorkers unemployed. While the national recession may have "officially" ended over a year ago, nearly everyone reading this column either has gone through tough financial times or knows of a family member, friend or co-worker that is doing so. Our thoughts, prayers and acts of kindness should go out to those who are struggling to make ends meet, especially during the holiday season. Be thankful for the ability to work, earn a living and provide for your family!
BE THANKFUL FOR THE MEN AND WOMEN OF OUR MILITARY
Thousands of America's armed forces are serving overseas and will be away from their families this Thanksgiving. Our men and women in uniform (and their families) make incredible personal sacrifices so we can remain a free nation. We are blessed to have the best, brightest and bravest continually answering our country's call. Be thankful for the courage, service and selfless sacrifice of the men and women of America's military!
BE THANKFUL FOR OUR FIRST RESPONDERS
Here in New York State, our families, property and livelihoods are protected by members of law enforcement, emergency responders and public safety personnel whose top priority is keeping us safe and saving lives. Whether they are arresting a criminal, entering a burning building, giving life-saving CPR or helping communities recover from a disaster, first responders protect and serve their fellow New Yorkers in times of crisis. Be thankful for the police, firefighters and emergency medical technicians who protect the Empire State!
BE THANKFUL FOR THE GIFT OF GOOD HEALTH
It seems like every day brings yet another headline of some new medical issue to be aware of or health problem to worry about. Buried beneath a blizzard of sometime contradictory facts and reports about what to eat and drink or what medicines to take, it is easy to forget the simple importance of being healthy, staying active and enjoying life. Be thankful for the gift of good health and the opportunity to spend time with family!
BE THANKFUL TO LIVE IN NEW YORK STATE
New York has had more than its fair share of challenges in recent years. From high taxes and out-of-control spending, to a loss of faith and confidence in state government and the people serving in it, there has been much to criticize. However, this past year was different as we saw many successes. I was proud to partner with Governor Andrew Cuomo to begin charting a new direction for the Empire State. The path has not been easy - nor will it get any easier - but we are making progress and tackling many of New York's problems head-on. Despite its challenges, New York State - and our Finger Lakes region especially - is still one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. We have outstanding schools, a hard-working labor force, unmatched economic potential and a fantastic quality of life. Be thankful to be a New Yorker!
TO WHOM MUCH HAS BEEN GIVEN, MUCH IS EXPECTED
Part of being thankful is remembering that with our abundance of blessings comes a great responsibility to help and care for our fellow citizens. In speaking of this reciprocity of thanks, President Theodore Roosevelt said, "Let us remember that, as much has been given us, much will be expected from us, and that true homage comes from the heart as well as from the lips, and shows itself in deeds."
To whom much is given, much is expected. Take a moment to reflect and you will see that we have been given much; let us be thankful for our abundance of blessings. Happy Thanksgiving to everyone!
As always, constituents wishing to discuss this topic, or any other state-related matter should contact my district office at (315) 781-2030, or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.