Recently, my brother posted an image on Facebook that haunts me as we celebrate Thanksgiving in the land of plenty.
The photo is of an emaciated, dirty boy about 6 or 7 years old, lying on his belly at the edge of a filthy stream lapping up brown water.
Above the picture are the words, “Lord, if I’m ever ungrateful, forgive me.”
I’ve prayed that many times since viewing the poignant photo, ashamed of how much I take for granted, of my petty complaints, of how I don’t stop and thank God frequently enough for the abundance of blessings I enjoy.
Every single person who lives in America is immersed in innumerable blessings. Take freedom of speech: Regardless of socio-economic status, no Americans need fear that they will be arrested for peaceably protesting against our country or our president, for instance.
Speaking of protests, far too many enjoy the economic blessings created by President Trump’s policies yet still choose to berate him, rather than lifting their hands in thanks to God for the privilege of living in a more prosperous and more free America. Some can’t bring themselves to even acknowledge that under Mr. Trump they are financially better off than at any other time in their lives.
Maybe they despise the president’s style, maybe they hate his tweets. Perhaps instead of being thankful for what they have, they prefer to live in bitter envy for what they lack. Whatever the reason, the ungrateful condition of so many American hearts is incredibly sad.
Consider just a few of the improvements since Mr. Trump took office:
• 3.5 million new jobs.
• Unemployment among America’s youth is lower than it has been for 50 years.
• Unemployment among veterans is lower than it has been for almost two decades.
• For Americans without a high school diploma, unemployment is now the lowest in our history. The same holds true for Americans with disabilities.
• Blue-collar jobs are growing at a faster rate than they have in more than 30 years.
• Poverty levels for Hispanic-Americans, Asian-Americans and African-Americans are at the lowest levels ever recorded.
The economic boom under Mr. Trump is experienced by the wealthy, the middle class and the poor.
Yes, we still have much to do, but we’ve enjoyed so many improvements since Mr. Trump took office that it’s utterly unacceptable for every American not to be thankful.
I know what some folks are thinking as they consider the life of the young boy I described. They are boiling over with anger at our president for his seemingly merciless position regarding immigrants in search of a better life. Due to the lies of a “progressive” media industry hell-bent on portraying Mr. Trump as a greedy capitalist, it’s a tragedy that so many don’t know of the incredible benevolence of our nation and of our president.
The truth is that America still welcomes more legal immigrants into our country than does any other nation, and our president not only welcomes them but seeks to expand their numbers.
The United States of America still gives more money in foreign aid than all other nations combined. We provide more staff and more funds to the World Food Programme, pour more funding into peace-keeping operations abroad and give more resources to nations when natural disasters strike than does any other country.
I wonder how many of the angry protesters who demand open borders have actually donated to international food programs, or foreign missions, or served in a soup kitchen or volunteered to help teach English to children whose families have immigrated here?
My point is not to point the finger but to call on each of us to reflect on our blessings, be truly grateful, and then determine how we can do more to bless others.
Merely protesting in anger does not help feed children or improve lives. Giving of ourselves and out of our own pockets does. So does supporting leaders who unleash us from overregulation and overtaxation — starting with thanking them.
It’s time for every American — regardless of political party or disagreements on policy — to thank Mr. Trump for all he continues to do to improve the lives of people at home and abroad.
This Thanksgiving, please join me in praising God for all he has provided, including a president who is brave and bold enough to continue his fight to make and keep America great and generous.
• Rebecca Hagelin can be reached at email@example.com.