Thankful every day

Dear Editor:I told myself, this is a new year and a Letter to the Editor should "…accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative, don't mess with Mister In-Between," so I'll try. There are things to be thankful for every day. A Lord to whom I owe my existence, the gifts my Creator has bestowed upon me through no doing of my own, a wife who loves and supports me in all my foibles, two beautiful children I can be proud of, a church where I can celebrate the Lord and be reminded to not stray too far from the path, a splendid community, and the best nation in the world that I'm fortunate to be a citizen of. A few may question devotion to a Higher Power but it is presumptuous to believe I'm the "be all, end all" of my existence. I'm just not that important and there is something greater than all of us put together. I know that the mind I think with, the heart I feel with, and the body to cart it all around in, are gifts for which I did nothing to deserve and must be thankful for. Beyond that, few things are a greater blessing than a loving wife sharing my journey through life. And then children, the only significant life I will usher into this world, to be treasured and enjoyed as much as a budding flower or a spring shower. Moving away from the home, Downey is a pretty darn good community even if our planners occasionally leave me wondering, or parking versus traffic on Florence Avenue has me muttering. These are difficult times and without responsible management where it counts, our community would be a lot worse off, and it isn't. That's something to be thankful for. Then we get farther afield, to the state and federal arenas. Then I wonder, because they have wandered even farther afield. We have the greatest nation on the face of the Earth, truthfully. We owe our blessing to founding fathers who had a keen understanding of humanity and humanness. The value of each individual never more eloquently stated "…that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness." Among the most appreciative Americans are those coming from other countries, knowing that in America they can succeed and be free. This is the American way. When you set out to succeed in America, whether you were Mexican, Moroccan, Turkish or Irish, culturally you are now American, and that's something to be proud of. If only our "leaders" would respect this nation of individuals who are largely capable of running our own lives quite handily and know that what we sow we reap and is ours firstly to keep, we would be better off. Not to lose faith, if our nation gets run into the ditch, as may happen, it can make us appreciate the path we have strayed from. Feeling pride as we should, and being American as we are, we will find our way again and be a stronger people. For that I am thankful every day. - Scott Ramey, Downey

********** Published: January 8, 2010 - Volume 8 - Issue 38