Normally the pep-talk reminder related to being grateful is reserved for Thanksgiving, or other major holidays. But, I'm going to break from the mold and start a new trend.
Let's be grateful year round, not just one week in November.
I'm grateful to live in a state where I don't have to worry about drastic cuts in public services, road repairs or support for education. Thanks to an economic depression across 95 percent of the U.S., many Americans do have to worry about where their next paycheck will come from and whether or not they can count on public services that they've come to depend on. With unemployment rates in states like Ohio, Michigan and Nevada reaching as high as 14 percent, it sure feels nice to "worry about" unemployment rates of less than 4 percent.
I'm grateful to live in Ward County that was classified as the economically healthiest county in the country (or county with the least amount of economic stresses). Part of this comes from having a low unemployment rate. That, combined with low foreclosure rates and low bankruptcy numbers, shows that three major parts of life housing, employment and finances are keeping more of us smiling. We have the Bakken play, sound financial habits from state residents and their banks, and a high sense of work ethic to thank for these positives in our lives.
I'm grateful for the "problem" of looking at adding new employees to the public work force in Minot. I think it says something very positive about our city leaders when they want to address the growth concerns head on by proposing additional staff to meet the Magic City's needs.
I'm grateful for local and state elected officials who take their jobs seriously and work hard to understand the public's issues and concerns. With a general election just around the corner, it's time to assess what our politicians have brought to the table, the problems they've solved, the problems they haven't addressed and what we want them to be focusing on. The power to elect our own aldermen, representatives, senators and other officials is a privilege many across the world don't have. Let's be grateful for our democratic freedoms.
I'm grateful for my beautiful, healthy family. Not everyone has a family of their own, or loved ones who are close. So, I would hope that those of us who are truly blessed with someone to spend time with, take care of, or be concerned about don't forget to be grateful for this part of our lives.
Gratitude it's about more than being grateful during Thanksgiving time.
(Lyman is a community columnist for The Minot Daily?News)