Larry Mantle |

It's especially important to give thanks in difficult times

This Thanksgiving season couldn’t come at a better time, as our government drives us to fury and our economy drives us to…well, name your coping mechanism.  This is the most negativity I’ve sensed from the American public in my adult lifetime.  Folks are struggling, angry, and don’t have a lot of hope about what’s going to pull us out of partisan standoffs and economic malaise.  Even back in my childhood and teen years of the Vietnam War and race riots, there was a sense of hopefulness amid the rancor.  People really believed the war would eventually end and that racial equality would one day arrive.

However, this time around, I don’t hear many hopeful words about government problem solving nor economic resurgence.  We’re in the dumps with nothing to look forward to but uncertainty.

So why is this a great time for Thanksgiving?  Because, in the aggregate, things are rarely as bad or as good as we perceive them.  We’re down now not just because of objectively tough times, but because we’re angry, frustrated, and getting burned out, too.  Thanksgiving gives us a chance to briefly stand back from the accident scene and be thankful we’ve survived.  This is also our chance to remember that life is about more than the economy and government.

Thanksgiving is about the steadfastness of family and friends, as the institutions around us are reeling.  It’s about surviving life’s toughest challenges with resiliency, kindness, and empathy.  These qualities are in abundant supply in our world and provide many reasons for being thankful.

I’m personally thankful for a family that has consistently accepted me for who I am and encouraged me to follow my instincts.  I’m thankful for a tremendously supportive audience that encourages me every day and cares enough to offer valuable critique that I can use to improve.  I’m thankful for an employer that’s driven by the mission of both informing and bringing together Southern Californians to honestly face our challenges.  I’m thankful for a dynamite “AirTalk” producing staff that goes well beyond the norm in its devotion to making the best possible program for listeners.

I could go on and on, but I’d rather hear what you’re thankful for.  In the comments below, please let me know what’s going well in your life, what challenge you’ve successfully faced, who’s making a difference in your life, or what the best thing is that’s happened to you this year.

I’ll share some of these thankful postings on Wednesday’s “AirTalk,” to help ease us into the spirit of Thanksgiving.  Remember that the more succinct your posting, the greater the odds that I can do justice in sharing it on the air.  Thanks for sharing your thanks with all of us.