Dear Frederick Douglass Foundation Members and Friends,
Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day. Once again, we find ourselves confronted with the juxtaposed meaning and symbolism of this great American holiday – scarcity and abundance, apathy and compassion, isolation and fellowship.
From an historical perspective, it is important to remember the first few Thanksgiving gatherings weren’t exactly what we have been taught. They were extremely devastating times for our pilgrim forefathers. Half the population of Plymouth Plantation died the first winter and the following two years were essentially failures to the colonists as they pursued a socialist-style approach to forming this new nation. It wasn’t until their leader, William Bradford, banned this failed governing approach in 1623 that the colonists finally began to reap the benefits of their labor and the blessings began to flow abundantly.
The lesson to be learned from those first few Thanksgivings was the realization that socialism was a profound failure and that the new nation’s future would be short-lived if it pursued a system that failed to reward hard work and respect for personal property.
This message rings especially true after the recent results of the general election. I, like you, have noticed there are some fundamental transformations of American society taking place which includes an incease lending towards a communal socialist bureaucracy that redistributes the fruit of our labor and punishes productivity.
However, the battle may have been lost but the war wages on. This is why I believed in the well-known phrase, Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness, in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase is meant to exemplify the “unalienable rights” with which all human beings are endowed by their Creator and for the protection of which they institute governments.
So, tomorrow I want to encourage you to take time to be thankful for what we have and not what we lost!
We are still a nation of abundance, overflowing with citizens who voluntarily serve those in need by helping during times of scarcity and misfortune.
And contrary to those who claim Americans are obsessed with consumption and mired in apathy, we remain a people who overwhelmingly demonstrate compassion to others and express gratitude for the blessings bestowed upon us by our Creator.
Thanksgiving has never been a time for self-absorption and isolation but rather celebration and fellowship with family, friends and community. We must remember that our strength is derived through our commitment to one another and the common values we embrace: faith, family and freedom. Our fellowship unites us as one people.
This Thanksgiving, as Americans, we express gratitude for the many blessings received from the earliest beginnings of our nation to the present. We give appreciation for our liberties and especially to those who serve and sacrifice abroad to selflessly defend those freedoms.
We give thanks for the abundance, compassion and fellowship shared among our friends and family – those we too often take for granted. And while sitting at the dining room table and watching the football game with family and friends, remember those servicemembers who are away from their families protecting our country and intrerest around the world.
Finally, we express our deepest gratitude to our Creator who we believe established this great republic as a shining city on a hill and a light unto all nations. Without His guidance and blessings, the world would know not the freedom of the ages.
This Thanksgiving, may God richly bless you and yours. And may He continue to bless this land we love and appreciate, the United States of America.
Sincerely,Timothy F. Johnson Founder and President/CEO