The traditional spirit of the approaching holiday season inspires a profound appreciation for the abundance that we share. An ideal celebration of Thanksgiving might involve acceptance of a new vision.
We should certainly rejoice in all that we have acquired; but we should be far more cognizant of what we have to give.
We should be grateful for the world that we have built; but we should also be drawn to the future that we are challenged to build.
We should be thankful for what we have achieved; but we should be driven by all that we have the potential to achieve.
We should be gratified by our nation's celebrated history; but we should strive for the vision by which we will mold our collective destiny.
In short, our blessings should inspire us to embrace all that is possible for our world. Our holiday vision should be one in which compassion, cooperation, justice and peace are the primary ingredients.
The life style and institutions for which we are grateful this holiday season are, in a sense, a cruel paradox. Ours is the vision to which the world aspires; a vision surrendered daily for convenience, power and influence.
Our incredible bounty is not shared by the world's children. In 1978 alone, 12 million children under the age of 5 died of starvation. Today 500 million people are chronically hungry.
The jobs through which we contribute, and for which we are richly rewarded, are not available in the backward economies of most of the world.
The democratic institutions that served our economic and social development are systematically denied throughout the world, even by "allies" who stay in power by means of torture and repression.
The vision of freedom, equality, democracy and self-determination is often blurred by narrow-minded political self-interest and economic pragmatism.
For all that we have, all that we have achieved, all that we were, and all that destiny holds, we can be profoundly grateful. In the better world that we are building, our gratitude will breed a willingness to share.
WILLIAM F. CARROLL