What are you thankful for?

Nov 182010
Authors: Robyn Scherer

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and many of you are probably looking forward to the break from school and the impending week off. I’m guessing most of you will be going home to spend some quality time with your families.

While you are doing this, I want you to think about all of the things that are you thankful for. I know I have a couple of things.

First and foremost, be grateful for your family and friends. You never know when they won’t be there anymore. Diseases, war and freak accidents take people unexpectedly every single day.

Don’t let a single day go by that you don’t tell those around you how much you care for them and how much they mean to you. You never know, if you wait even just one day, you may never get the chance. In the words of Lee Brice, a country singer, “Love like crazy.”

Be grateful for your education. Even though the cost is high, there are many people out there who will never have the opportunities that you have to learn and to grow.

I know school can be a drag sometimes, but the education you are receiving today will pay off in the future. You may not see it now but it will. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, those who have a bachelor’s degree will earn, on average, roughly $400 more per week than those with simply a high school diploma.

Over a working lifetime, let’s say from the time you are 22 until you are 65, that’s an additional $894,400 before taxes in today’s dollars. That’s a significant amount of money. Considering it costs the average person around $30,000 to earn a bachelor’s, that’s a very good return on your investment.

You should also be grateful for the rights you have as citizens. The Bill of Rights guarantees you several freedoms that are not allowed in other countries. Don’t abuse those rights. If you exercise your First Amendment, make sure you take responsibility for what you say.

Remember that freedom is not free. There are many people who have paid for your freedom, whether through their service or with their life. Make sure to thank those people, even if you don’t agree with the current war. Those in the armed services are some of the most selfless people out there.

Thank those who help to keep you safe as well. Police officers (at all levels, be it local or state), firemen and those who work at hospitals are people to thank. You might not always think positive things about these people, but they really are there to make things better.

If you have ever had a fire, you will know how much having the fire department can mean. If you have ever had someone you know killed by a drunk driver, you will be more thankful for the officer that took someone to jail and prevented another death.

The last group of people I encourage you to be thankful for are America’s farmers and ranchers. You would not be enjoying the meal that you will be eating on Thanksgiving without these people.

They work all hours of the day to provide food for Americans and the rest of the world. It usually isn’t an easy life, and is not just a job, but also a lifestyle.

Show your support by buying local. Food grown in the U.S. is a huge contributor to the state and federal economy. With each bite you take, remember that someone else grew that food for you, and be thankful.

I’m sure there are many more things to be thankful for, but those are the top ones on my list. Whatever you are grateful for, make sure you think about that on this holiday break, and tell those you are grateful for.

Robyn Scherer is a graduate student studying integrated resource management. Her column appears Fridays in the Collegian. Letters and feedback can be sent to news@collegian.com.

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