Are you thankful? We celebrate Thanksgiving this week and let’s be honest, so many of us aren’t thankful. But we should be. Even when times are tough and life is hard we live in a country that allows us to be free. Free to disagree with each other and free to agree to disagree. That freedom came with a price. A price that most people under 30 don’t begin to understand. If you haven’t thanked a veteran lately, do it today. Many of them suffer with the after effects of being in the service and unfortunately our country doesn’t treat them with the dignity and respect they deserve. I would hazard to guess that Congress spends more having their dry cleaning done than some of our veterans make in a month. That, in my opinion, is shameful.

Almost as shameful as the fact that they can’t seem to put together a health care bill, that they themselves use, that actually takes care of people. Other nations have been able to do this. Why can’t one of the greatest nations in the world? I know a lot of people complain about the affordable care act, but it is one of the best things that ever happened to me. You may not realize this but not everyone makes $100,000 a year, and editors certainly don’t. If it were not for the affordable care act I wouldn’t have insurance. My employer offers it now that I work full time, but when I was just a part time reporter I could not get it through my employer. Many people face this kind of situation because more and more employers choose to either hire part time or temporary employees so they won’t have to pay benefits. What happened to our corporations? Many don’t even offer retirement plans anymore and those that do sometimes never pay the benefits because they file bankruptcy. Is that right? Of course not. But tell me who holds corporations accountable anymore? Why should a corporate executive make millions on the backs of hard working men and women who barely make minimum wage? And while I’m on the rant, what happened to giving people raises? It seems these days the only people who receive raises are the executives and what do they actually do to earn these raises? Sometimes I wonder how these people sleep at night. Oh and I forgot Congress gives themselves a raise without even thinking for one minute who pays their salary. It’s us if you didn’t know that. I have to live within a budget, don’t you? Why shouldn’t they? Somewhere in our democratic society the ones who are supposed to work for us turned the tables on us and now we work for them. I don’t believe for one minute this is what our founding fathers intended for our nation. When the average automobile costs more than many make in a year and affordable housing? There is a real joke. I have sat in many city councils over the years and that subject rarely comes up. Why? Because no one cares about the poor anymore. Oh they have food drives during the holidays, but the poor need help all year long.

Some years back I went back to college to get a degree so that I could make a decent living. Frankly, I made more waitressing than I have since receiving my degree. I know people who only have a high school diploma who make more than I do. The middle class, which used to be the biggest part of our citizens, has just faded away. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer and it is sad that we have so many people who go hungry when restaurants and grocery stores throw away tons of food each year.

I implore our Congress to walk a mile in your constituents shoes before you go to vote on issues, Stop and talk to your constituents, the ones you are supposed to serve. Do we really want to be a country that is full of people who only care about lining their pockets? Corporate executives, if you are so concerned about your bottom line, take a cut in pay, reward your workers for a job well done, treat them like humans that matter I promise it isn’t hard to treat people with respect. At the end of the day take a look at yourself and ask yourself if you could survive on what you’re paying your employees?

The day is coming when we will all meet our maker. Can you stand before Jesus and look Him in the eye and tell him you treated people fairly and how you would wish to be treated? Or will you be standing there hanging your head because you sat in your million dollar home, with your million dollar salary, while many of your employees worried how they would feed and clothe their children. God doesn’t care about your bottom line. He cares about what is in your heart, how you treat others and you can stand there and say “I’m a good person. I gave to church every week, I gave to charity.” You know what He will say? Depart from me, I never knew you. I was hungry and did you feed me? I was cold, did you clothe me? Even worse, did you invite me in your heart? You can’t serve two masters and today too many people only serve one. Greed. It is the love of money that is the root of all evil. Is that your God?

Until next time...