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Honestly, the older I grow, the faster time seems to spin. Next week, we celebrate Thanksgiving, then it will be Christmas and then New Year's. Again.

It's a good time to reflect on being thankful. Many people are experiencing difficulties right now and may wonder for what they can be thankful. And, I understand. In six decades, I've experienced pain, death, discouragement and know that there are times I can't see beyond the tears. But, I continue to learn to look for the blessings, no matter how small, for which to be grateful.

A unique American holiday, Thanksgiving evolved out of "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favours of Almighty God," as proclaimed by the first president of the United States, George Washington, when he proclaimed the first nationwide thanksgiving celebration in America marking November 26, 1789. The modern Thanksgiving was first officially called for in all states in 1863 by a presidential proclamation of Abraham Lincoln. Then, on Dec. 26, 1941, President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed a joint resolution of Congress changing the national Thanksgiving Day from the last Thursday in November to the fourth Thursday.

I'd like to share a few quotes on being grateful.

• "When it comes to life the critical thing is whether you take things for granted or take them with gratitude." G.K. Chesterton (1874-1936)

• "The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched -- they must be felt with the heart." Helen Keller (1880-1968)

• "I recommend that on the said day the duties of humiliation and prayer be accompanied by fervent thanksgiving to the Bestower of Every Good Gift, not only for His having hitherto protected and preserved the people of these United States in the independent enjoyment of their religious and civil freedom, but also for having prospered them in a wonderful progress of population, and for conferring on them many and great favors conducive to the happiness and prosperity of a nation." John Adams, March 1798 (1735-1826)

• "No people ought to feel greater obligations to celebrate the goodness of the Great Disposer of Events and of the Destiny of Nations than the people of the United States. His kind providence originally conducted them to one of the best portions of the dwelling place allotted for the great family of the human race. He protected and cherished them under all the difficulties and trials to which they were exposed in their early days. Under His fostering care their habits, their sentiments, and their pursuits prepared them for a transition in due time to a state of independence and self-government. James Madison, March 1815 (1751-1836)

• "I think that is a better thing than thanksgiving: thanks-living. How is this to be done? By a general cheerfulness of manner, by an obedience to the command of Him by whose mercy we live, by a perpetual, constant delighting of ourselves in the Lord, and by a submission of our desires to His will." Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892)

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Editor's note: Annette Beard is the managing editor of The Times of Northeast Benton County, chosen the best small weekly newspaper in Arkansas for five years. A native of Louisiana, she moved to northwest Arkansas in 1980 to work for the Benton County Daily Record. She has nine children, four sons-in-law, eight grandsons and three granddaughters. She can be reached at abeard@nwaonline.com.

Editorial on 11/20/2019

Print Headline: Intentionally practice being thankful

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