“Most folks are about as happy as they make up their minds to be,” said Abraham Lincoln. This Thanksgiving week it is probably worth noting the same can be said about being thankful. Most folks are about as thankful as they make up their minds to be.

Not being thankful usually centers on our lack. We always think we deserve more without fully appreciating what we already have, until of course we lose that too.

Professors sometimes summarize the definition of economics by saying it is the study of attempting to fill unlimited desires with limited resources. And that is the situation we often find ourselves in, i.e. constantly comparing our limited financial resources against the laundry list of things we would buy if we just had a bit more money.

The problem is, the more we have the more we want. Someone asked John D. Rockefeller, the wealthiest American of his day, how much was enough. “Just a little more,” he reportedly replied, “Just a little bit more.”

Few stories are as sad as those regarding big time lottery winners who discovered their windfall to be a curse rather than the blessing they always dreamed about. Whatever happiness and thankfulness are about, they are rarely about having great wealth.

We can be thankful that even though our country faces great challenges, most of us still believe it is the best in the world. After all, as the sage has said, democracy is the worst system there is – except for everything else.

This Thanksgiving if our stomachs are full, we have a roof over our head and generally feel safe from violence we are better off than many millions around the world. If we have our health and family to share the day with, it’s all the better.

Happy Thanksgiving!

— Loné Beasley

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