Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Giving thanks in troubled times

There is something about troubled times — especially troubled times in the economy — that focuses the mind.

Somehow, it’s easier to appreciate what you’ve got when getting more is a little harder. There are signs of this all over Sisters. People seem to be taking a little more time to appreciate how rich we really are.

It’s hard to be thankful when you’ve just lost your job and I’m not waxing sentimental about poverty, which is rearing its ugly, diminishing head in Sisters as the crunch comes down.

There are some hurting people in our community.

But we can all be thankful that there are some who take on the difficult task of helping these folks, from the dedicated advocates at Sisters Family Access Network to the volunteers at the Sister Kiwanis Food Bank to the many churches whose congregations have stepped up to help the indigent with purchases of hygiene products, wood cutting and other assistance.
We have a community that works, where neighbors take care of each other. That is riches beyond price.

Folks in Sisters are rallying to support their local businesses, the businesses that sponsor events, contribute to schools and add to the vibrancy of the community. Individual holiday “shop local” vows are catching on — and it makes a difference.

Most everybody I know is cutting back this holiday season — but not in ways that cheap out on their friends and loved ones. People are simply being a little more thoughtful, seeking to give in ways that have lasting value, both materially and spiritually.
That notion seems to be gaining traction around the country.

I would never wish hard times upon my countrymen. There is no inherent nobility in want; I prefer prosperity. But it is gratifying to see that our community and our country seems to respond to hard times with a return to more substantial values.

Jim Cornelius, Editor

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