By Chic Hollis – Philosophical Musings
It’s easy to be thankful for the blessings we have received this year, but are we also thankful for the challenges faced and the consequences endured? In this zero-sum game of life, all of us learn that there are a few victorious and a lot of defeated members of the human race; that some humans are gaining while others are losing; and that the lucky humans are outnumbered by the unlucky ones. Are the growing numbers of human survivors on this overpopulated planet grateful to be alive today?
The invaluable lessons of life are garnered from playing on the winning and the losing teams. Humans have trouble learning life’s lessons. Is it truly better to give than to receive? It’s nice to give away what we think we no longer need, but it’s much nicer to receive what we think we want.
Here are some examples of the hard lessons we should be thankful for on this holiday:
1. During my life time, our nation won World War II, tied the Korean War, and lost the Vietnam War. Fortunately, I managed to survive my military service in Africa. (What was the lesson learned from all the murder and mayhem of war? A country has a better chance of winning a war with nuclear weapons of mass destruction than with modern “conventional” weapons.)
2. Are we grateful that the underdogs won the Revolutionary War and lost the Civil War?
3. Who of us are grateful for the recent housing boom and the housing bust that followed?
4. Did we learn anything this year from the oil catastrophe in the Gulf of Mexico and the gas line explosion in the Bay Area? What Americans are grateful for these valuable lessons?
5. Is anyone pleased that the San Francisco Giants finally won the World Series besides the loyal fans in the Bay Area?
6. Were the hostages of the Somali pirates thankful for the ransom paid and their freedom recovered? (And the owners of the ships commandeered and released?)
7. Is anyone grateful for the Mexican drug smugglers except those who have a habit of abusing drugs? (I won’t mention those humans who are addicted to alcohol and prescription medication.)
8. How many Democrats outside of California are pleased with the results of the 2010 election process? (Will the majority of Americans be pleased with the stalemate expected in Congress?)
9. Is anyone in this country smiling about the increase in the price of gasoline except those who are getting their cut from the world-wide distribution of petroleum products? (Do you ever hear the patriotic query of WWII repeated : “Is this trip in your car really necessary?”)
10. Are we sufficiently grateful for the improvement in the results of 12th grade students in American public schools? (38% achieved proficiency in reading this year, and 26% in math.)
11. Are we grateful for the illegal immigrants who sneak across our borders to do the work that American citizens refuse? (Shouldn’t they be paid the minimum wage?)
12. Are we profoundly grateful for the heads of state who believe that the obligations of this nation still merit an investment grade rating when the interest rate paid is dictated by the Federal Reserve and not the market? (Have you ever asked, “When will the discounting begin?”)
13. Are Americans honestly thankful for all the cheap products being imported from Asia while our jobs are being exported to those countries?
14. Since citizens of this nation have much to be grateful for, are those who have diligently saved some money for the rainy days ahead pleased with the record low interest rates accruing for safe CDs and FDIC guaranteed savings accounts? (Thank you, Ben!)
15. If you are a student attending a University of California, did you consider thanking the Lord for the minuscule 8% increase in tuition this year after a 32% increase last year? (If so, were you grateful for the tough law enforcement officers on campus that restrained those disrespectful student demonstrators who dared to challenge the arrogant behavior of the regents who fearlessly ignored the low annual inflation rates for 2010 posted by some federal government agency?)
16. Are you thankful for the sacrifice of all those well-fed domesticated turkeys who gave up their overcrowded and confining cages with only a stifled squawk so humans could celebrate the generosity of the Lord?
17. If you don’t feel adequately blessed this holiday, think of the estimated 1.7 billion human souls slaving away elsewhere who are trying to survive on just two devaluated dollars per day. (That won’t buy them a gallon of gas for their cars!)
18. Anyone who lacks gratitude on this occasion should remember that the Bush tax cuts expire next year. Only one percent of the U.S. income tax payers are likely to see their taxes increased in 2011 by Congress. (The 49% of Americans who don’t pay federal income tax and hate the rich Wall Street gamblers should be smiling today.)
19. If you aren’t grateful for being an American citizen, you ought to be happy with Obamacare when it kicks in. Then you can get your head examined by professionals for a small co-pay. These highly skilled practitioners will sedate you and send you out to enjoy the last days of your internment in this crazy society surrounded by other humans who may lack gratitude also!
20. If you aren’t happy with this November 25th holiday, you will be pleased to note that the December 25th holiday is only one month away. You still have time to do your Xmas shopping!