When the Going Gets Rough - YES Be Thankful America

It's 2009 and at the expense of dredging up campaign rhetoric from 2008 - we do need some hope and change. All signs point to the fact that this is going to be a rough year economically. Unemployment is on the rise, folks still can't get loans, the car companies are teetering on bankruptcy, and the Congress is talking about mortgaging our future. On the foreign policy front, elections loom in Iraq and Afghanistan, which will quite possibly precipitate a spike in violence, and the Israeli-Hamas conflict is intensifying. Those are just a few of the challenges overseas. The media is peddling its doom and gloom in virtually every headline, beating into the public psyche that all is wrong with our nation and the world.

At times like these, Americans need to take stock of their own lives. They need to find and focus on those things for which they should be thankful. Contrary to the Hope and Change message delivered so eloquently by President-elect Obama, hope and change doesn't start with Presidents or government. It starts with people. You and me. True, the bully pulpit can certainly be helpful toward improving the mood of the nation, but at this point, it is a real concern that Americans look too much toward Washington to solve problems.

The heart of the nation is aching as we enter this new year. That is precisely why we need to put down the paper with the dreadful headline, turn off the tv with murder, mayhem and misery on the screen and look inward. Don't ignore the problems out there - just don't be solely focused on them. The nation isn't falling apart. Perhaps if we read more history, we'd have a better perspective.

We live in the strongest, safest, most powerful, most stable, most innovative, most resilient nation on earth. We need to take comfort and have confidence who we are as a people. All the talk about a depression, and all the Bush-bashing over the years has had the effect of making people question those facts. We need to accentuate the positives - take a long look - not at all we want - but all we have. And we have more than most. No matter how bad the economy gets, we need to remember that Europe, Russia and the Middle East are doing worse and will feel the effects longer. 2009 should be a time to focus on family and friends; our children and on self improvement. The strongest bonds; the most personally fulfilling and transformational times in our lives can be the toughest moments.

With Washington looking at throwing billions at a laundry list of problems and the recession continuing, put things in perspective America - and lets make 2009 better than 2008.

2009-2010Albert Solano