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Date: Thu, 25 Nov 2004 09:12:36 EST
Subject: Essays on Excellence # 448
Good Morning Freedom Fighters and Truth Seekers,

May Thanksgiving 2005 be the beginning of a new chapter of personal responsibility and enterprise development for each of you.  That is what has been shown, time and time again throughout history, to solve the problems of the community and defeat the socialist model of the common storehouse.

Thanksgiving...A Time for Thought and Reflection
Author Unknown

This coming Thursday in America we will celebrate Thanksgiving
as a nation.

It is a day we gather together and remember and be thankful.

But did you realize that thanksgiving became a national holiday
in the middle of conflict and adversity? It became a national
holiday in 1863 in the middle if the Civil War.

Trying to bring peace to a divided nation Abraham Lincoln asked
the nation to dedicate a day of thanksgiving.

Now there was precedence before 1863. In 1621 the pilgrims
gathered together to give thanks.

The pilgrims originally gathered to thank God for surviving.
You see over one half of the community had died and they wanted
thanksgiving to be a national day of morning not a day of thanks.

Thanksgiving comes out of adversity.

Paul learned to give thanks in all situations. Phil 4:11b-12 "for
I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know
what it is to be in need and I know what it is to have plenty.
I have learned the secret of being content in any and every
situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty
or in want."

Like Paul thankful people remember.

I want to share something with you that I received several years
ago in seminary. I do not know who the author is.

I read this Thanksgiving Perspective throughout the year but
especially during Thanksgiving week. It reminds me that to be
thankful is to remain close to God and it also allows me to
change rather than wishing the world would change.

My prayer is that it touches you as much as it touches me each
time I read it.

You’d this I’d learn, Lord
That I can’t change the world!

But I keep trying!
Or at least wishing that in many and varied ways
things were somehow different than they are.

So I set out to change
my family
my parishioners
my friends
the unfriendly sales clerk
the distracted parking lot attendant
the Federal government
the President
the Senators from Indiana
the Representative of the 6th District

No wonder I get tired!

To change the world – even to wish to change the world –
is like thinking I can carry my car up the street!
To think that I need to be a part
Of everything that happens in my sphere of influence
to make sure it happens the way I think it should happen
is a sure-fire recipe for burn-out!

What’s that, Lord,
you’re just reminding me that I can’t change the world?
Shouldn’t ever waste too much energy wishing I could?
But you have a suggestion??

What’s that, Lord?

Give thanks??
That’s it, Lord, give thanks??
Will that change the world, Lord?

It won’t?
It’ll change WHAT??
It’ll change ME??

That’s what this Thanksgiving thing is all about, isn’t Lord?
Recognizing life as a gift.
Celebrating the people around us.
Savoring moments of joy.
Appreciating things as they are.
Enjoying a good meal.
Drinking in the beauty of a sunrise.
Marveling at the complexity of the human body.
Relishing simple pressures.
Treasuring friends and family.

What’s that, Lord?
If I can give thanks more and more,
it’ll ease my grip on things,
relax my soul, make me more accepting,
lesson the likelihood of burn-out,
and generally make me a happier person??!!

Lord, if all that happened,
The world would look different to me, wouldn’t I?
And I wouldn’t feel the need to change it!

Thanksgiving's Simple Meaning
By Ken Masugi

We are all familiar with the Thanksgiving holiday as a time for family, feasting, and football. All of these are great American institutions, but we forget too easily the meaning of this national holiday as it was first established by George Washington on October 3, 1789 and reaffirmed as we know it today by Abraham Lincoln on October 3, 1863, exactly 74 years later. A mere glance at their Thanksgiving proclamations reminds us of the noblest purposes of government, including its greatest ends—fighting war and educating its citizens—which fulfill all the objects of peace. Moreover, the simplest meaning of Thanksgiving reminds us—contrary to secularist courts and professors—that these presidents were proclaiming a holy day, a day for prayer and recognition of Almighty God's authority over man. We are most human when we honor our duties, to our country and to our Creator, and the wisdom that unifies these duties.

No understanding of the First Amendment, however crabbed, can possibly gainsay this official government acknowledgement of the power of the sacred in our lives. A close reading of these two messages reveals a careful and subtle teaching about the higher purposes of government and of human life. Washington urged prayer "to render our national government a blessing to all the people, by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed...." Prayer should also lead this nation of "civil and religious liberty" to "promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the encrease of science among [other nations] and us...." God and the human mind are in alliance.Even in the midst of "the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged," Lincoln first paints a picture of a prosperous, free, and indeed flourishing land. These are the "gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and voice by the whole American People." At the end of the proclamation, Lincoln asks for prayers not only of thanks but also "with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience." Thus do we "commend to his tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers" in the war.

Have we, as those Americans did, taken to heart the Thanksgiving prayers the Father of our Country urged upon us? As our young men fight and die in Iraq and around the world, just as thousands died at home only a little more than three years ago, we should remember the war wisdom of Lincoln and the founding wisdom of Washington on Thanksgiving Day. Guided by prayer, we should recall our higher purposes. We enjoy the fruits of our leisure on account of the sacrifices of others today and before us.

Thanksgiving Day is Memorial Day and the Fourth of July together, a time for both the Gettysburg Address and the Constitution—as well as for the family, feasting, and football that complete American life.

The Foundation for Economic Education —

Private Enterprise Regained
Published in The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty - November 2004
by Henry Hazlitt

This essay was written in 1949 and subsequently appeared in the first volume of FEE’s Essays on Liberty, published in 1952. Governor Bradford’s spelling has been modernized.

Governor Bradford’s own history of the Plymouth Bay Colony over which he presided is a story that deserves to be far better known—particularly in an age that has acquired a mania for socialism and communism, regards them as peculiarly "progressive" and entirely new, and is sure that they represent "the wave of the future." Most of us have forgotten that when the Pilgrim Fathers landed on the shores of Massachusetts they established a communist system. Out of their common product and storehouse they set up a system of rationing, though it came to "but a quarter of a pound of bread a day to each person." Even when harvest came, "it arose to but a little." A vicious circle seemed to set in.

The people complained that they were too weak from want of food to tend the crops as they should. Deeply religious though they were, they took to stealing from each other. "So as it well appeared," writes Governor Bradford, "that famine must still ensue the next year also, if not some way prevented."So the colonists, he continues, "began to think how they might raise as much corn as they could, and obtain a better crop than they had done, that they might not still thus languish in misery. At length [in 1623] after much debate of things, the Gov. (with the advice of the chiefest among them) gave way that they should set corn every man for his own particular, and in that regard trust to themselves. . . . "And so assigned to every family a parcel of land. . . .
A Great Success "This had very good success; for it made all hands very industrious, so as much more corn was planted than otherwise would have been by any means the Gov. or any other could use, and saved him a great deal of trouble, and gave far better content. "The women now went willingly into the field, and took their little ones with them to set corn, which before would allege weakness, and inability; whom to have compelled would have been thought great tyranny and oppression. "The experience that was had in this common course and condition, tried sundry years, and that among godly and sober men, may well evince the vanity of that conceit of Plato’s and other ancients, applauded by some of later times;—that the taking away of property, and bringing in community into a commonwealth, would make them happy and flourishing; as if they were wiser than God.

For this community (so far as it was) was found to breed much confusion and discontent, and retard much employment that would have been to their benefit and comfort. "For the young men that were most able and fit for labor and service did repine that they should spend their time and strength to work for other men’s wives and children, without any recompense. The strong, or man of parts, had no more in division of victuals and clothes, than he that was weak and not able to do a quarter the other could; this was thought injustice. . . . "And for men’s wives to be commanded to do service for other men, as dressing their meat, washing their clothes, etc., they deemed it a kind of slavery, neither could many husbands well brook it. . . .

"By this time harvest was come, and instead of famine, now God gave them plenty, and the face of things was changed, to the rejoicing of the hearts of many, for which they blessed God. And the effect of their particular [private] planting was well seen, for all had, one way and other, pretty well to bring the year about, and some of the abler sort and more industrious had to spare, and sell to others, so as any general want or famine has not been among them since to this day."

The moral is too obvious to need elaboration.

Personal Philosophy is Like The Set of The Sail

by Jim Rohn

In the process of living, the winds of circumstances blow on us all in an unending flow that touches each of our lives.

We have all experienced the blowing winds of disappointment, despair and heartbreak. Why, then, would each of us, in our own individual ship of life, all beginning at the same point, with the same intended destination in mind, arrive at such different places at the end of the journey? Have we not all been blown by the winds of circumstances and buffeted by the turbulent storms of discontent?

What guides us to different destinations in life is determined by the way we have chosen to set our sail. The way that each of us thinks makes the major difference in where each of us arrive. The major difference is the set of the sail.

The same circumstances happen to us all. We have disappointments and challenges. We all have reversals and those moments when, in spite of our best plans and efforts, things just seem to fall apart. Challenging circumstances are not events reserved for the poor, the uneducated or the destitute. The rich and the poor have marital problems. The rich and the poor have the same challenges that can lead to financial ruin and personal despair. In the final analysis, it is not what happens that determines the quality of our lives, it is what we choose to do when we have struggled to set the sail and then discover, after all of our efforts, that the wind has changed directions.

When the winds change, we must change. We must struggle to our feet once more and rest the sail in the manner that will steer us toward the destination of our own deliberate choosing. The set of the sail, how we think and how we respond, has a far greater capacity to destroy our lives than any challenges we face. How quickly and responsibly we react to adversity is far more important than the adversity itself. Once we discipline ourselves to understand this, we will finally and willingly conclude that the great challenge of life is to control the process of our thinking.

Learning to reset the sail with the changing winds rather than permitting ourselves to be blown in a direction we did not purposely choose requires the development of a whole new discipline. It involves going to work on establishing a powerful, personal philosophy that will help to influence in a positive way all that we do and that we think and decide. If we can succeed in this worthy endeavor, the result will be a change in the course of our income, lifestyle and relationships, and in how we feel about the things of value as well as the times of challenge. If we can alter the way we perceive, judge and decide upon the main issues of life, then we can dramatically change our lives.

Vitamins for the Mind - Career/Marketplace
by Jim Rohn

My father taught me to always do more than you get paid for as an investment in your future.

Whether you stay six weeks, six months or six years, always leave it better than you found it.

Don't bring your need to the marketplace, bring your skill. If you don't feel well, tell your doctor, but not the marketplace. If you need money, go to the bank, but not the marketplace.

If you make a sale, you can make a living. If you make an investment of time and good service in a customer, you can make a fortune.

Don't just let your business or your job make something for you; let it make something of you.

Lack of homework shows up in the marketplace as well as in the classroom.

Where you start in the marketplace is not where you have to stay.

The worst days of those who enjoy what they do are better than the best days of those who don't.

We get paid for bringing value to the marketplace. It takes time to bring value to the marketplace, but we get paid for the value, not the time.

Here's the major problem with going on strike for more money: You cannot get rich by demand.

William Prouty, CLU RHU CBC CEC MBA PhD
CEO and Founder
Champions For Life Foundation
PO Box 989, Sun City, CA 92586-0989
951-301-0605  Phone  951-301-0606  FAX

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