A rainy fall has returned to our Oregon, and we are about to celebrate Thanksgiving. Most trace America’s Thanksgiving to the harvest celebrations of early Pilgrim and Puritan settlers in the Massachusetts colony. President George Washington proclaimed the first nationwide celebration of Thanksgiving in America “as a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God.”
We have just completed hard fought and divisive elections in Oregon and throughout the United States. Our Thanksgiving holiday comes just in time to help us to heal the wounds of our political debate, allowing us to focus on what we can do to make life better in our Oregon.
You will probably be sitting down to a gathering of family and friends to celebrate Thanksgiving. Remember, each of us sees life through different eyes, and through different experiences. We have differing political beliefs, none entirely right, and none entirely wrong. I have always found it useful to let others speak, to hear their points of view, and to try to understand how they have come to their understanding of politics. A respectful countenance, kind and understanding words, will do much to bring peace and create friendships among people who do not share the same views. Peace and harmony, and respectful political discussions, should be one of our goals this holiday season.
And let us give our newly elected political leaders a chance to lead. Donald Trump is our President-elect, Kate Brown is our Governor-elect, and we have elected others to lead us for the next two, four, or six years. Our form of government is representative democracy, in which we use direct democracy to elect leaders to make decisions on our behalf, for the betterment and advancement of our society. The time to judge elected leaders is not now, before they have had a chance to lead us, but rather in two, four or six years, after they have completed a body of work.
I love these words from “America the Beautiful”:
Let us all be heroes this Holiday Season!