Keep the right perspective as the year moves along

BY BOB WACHS, Columnist
Posted 11/22/19

It’s that time of the year again.

Comes around often.

As in every year.

It’s sort of like my boyhood friend and idol Bobby Joe High’s aged great-uncle Stuart (“Stu”) Pendus used to …

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Keep the right perspective as the year moves along

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It’s that time of the year again.

Comes around often.

As in every year.

It’s sort of like my boyhood friend and idol Bobby Joe High’s aged great-uncle Stuart (“Stu”) Pendus used to tell us boys about his birthday: “You know, I’ve been noticing my birthday comes on August 14th every year.”

How do I know it’s “that time of the year again?” Well, it’s because Halloween and its 40 pounds of candy has passed and the masks are put away for another year.

And later this week we’ll have the Christmas buying emphasis known as “Black Friday” again, one more in what seems to be endless “Black Fridays” or “Pre-Black Friday” or “Leaking Black Friday” or whatever the advertising and marketing people want to call it.

They invite us to rush out to spend a truckload of cash on Christmas gifts since there aren’t many shopping days left until Christmas, your favorite item may be sold out if you don’t hurry and saddle up and apparently there’ll never be another Christmas, at least according to the 11 pounds of advertising circulars in my Sunday paper all urging me to buy now.

Right now.

It wasn’t until just a few years ago I came to understand that “Black” Friday wasn’t a time of mourning but the day of the business year when many retailers turned the corner and went “into the black” on their business ventures.

So it’s “that time of the year” again, time for Thanksgiving to get its 15 minutes of fame and then be put back onto the shelf again until next November Whatever.

Permit me to make a statement here that encapsulates my feelings about the whole thing. I’m definitely not against the American free enterprise system. It may not be a perfect system but it’s leaps and bounds ahead of whatever is in second place.

Fundamentally, I believe if you’ve got the head and heart to work hard you deserve what you can earn. One of my favorite mantras for life is “Make all you can so you can give all you can.” But by the same token it’s hard on my gentle spirit to see Thanksgiving Day relegated to a parade and football game on TV.

Maybe most folks do practice Thanksgiving as a way and not just a day. I hope so. But somehow it seems to me that when “count your blessings” comes to mind most of us think more about a song by that name than we do about what the song means.

Let me urge us (that would be you and me) to think on next Thursday for a moment about what and who we are thankful and grateful for...and then do the same thing on Friday, Black or otherwise. And then on Saturday and then on the next day and then...well, you get the idea.

Even if it’s that you’re thankful you can get out in the herd of humanity on Black Friday, just don’t lose Thanksgiving Day and the thanksgiving way along the way.

Out in front of the church I serve is a lighted sign identifying who we are as a group and containing space for messages and announcements. The young man who keeps that updated for us has a keen wit and does a good job at it. I always look forward to seeing what he’ll put up next.

Sometimes it’s strictly announcements, this or that event on this or that day at this or that time. At other times, it’s food for thought, timeless even, as it is now.

He changed the message the other day and put up a mouthful, no pun intended, that says: “Will you be thankful or just full?”

Worth thinking about...and then doing something about.


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