Count your blessings

Friday, November 4, 2011

As Nov. 1 rolled around, I noticed something happening on Facebook. Various people began posting about things in their lives that they are thankful for -- their parents, their children, their jobs, their pets. I found it very refreshing, and I now look forward to checking Facebook posts in the morning before I head off to work to see the latest outpouring of thankfulness.

"Count your blessings" is an adage most of us learned from our parents, and it's one that can serve us well, especially when it seems as if all the news we hear is negative. I heard one commentator claim that America was going to talk itself into another recession, and I thought that was a very astute prediction. In tough times, recovery can be sparked or quenched by how consumers view the strength of America's economy. In very simple terms, consumers will save their money rather than spend it if they fear for the future, which on a national level can quickly douse any small glimmers of an economic upturn.

Locally, citizens living in Barry and Lawrence counties have a lot to be thankful for especially if we compare ourselves to other parts of the country. Jobs have remained fairly solid, and our area has been spared massive layoffs or plant closings. In fact, local industries seem to be surviving the economic downturn, and when the economy picks up, they are expected to flourish.

We are also blessed in this area with strong school systems filled with dedicated teachers and talented students. In many of our communities, the school provides the central hub of activity for local citizens. Friday night football games and other school-sponsored events offer an opportunity to gather and socialize -- it's part of what makes living in a smaller community so special. This Saturday, patrons of the Monett R-1 School District will be celebrating the completion of the new Monett Elementary with a ribbon cutting at 2 p.m. followed by a Family Fun Fest from 4 to 7 p.m. at the school -- just another opportunity to gather and be thankful.

I am going to follow the rest of my Facebook friends in making November a month of thanksgiving, and I encourage all of our readers to follow suit. Start each day by finding something to be thankful for and carry that thought with you throughout the day. I think you will be amazed at how your attitude will change when you begin to look for the good in life rather than the bad.