The Free Press, Mankato, MN


November 21, 2012

Our View: Thanksgiving perspective offers positives

— There's a good chance most of your major media outlets including this newspaper will attempt to sprinkle your Thanksgiving Day news report with some stories of hope and kindness.

That's the traditional Thanksgiving Day menu for media, offering a taste of goodness between the lines of all the bad news. Good news is often not news.

But it's important to remember, there are plenty of Thanksgiving-like moments every day that don't always make the news. While there are hundreds of people admitted to our medical facilities every day, hundreds walk out, often feeling more alive and heathy.

While there hundreds of people hungry on this Thanksgiving Day, there are many others who volunteer at food shelves, serve Thanksgiving dinners and donate money to make sure the hungry get fed. Dozens of volunteers help put food in backpacks for hungry kids to take home on the weekends.

There may be families who don't have Christmas presents in the budget right now. But there are hundreds of families already donating to the Holiday Sharing Tree, Toys for Tots, Santa Anonymous and the Salvation Army making sure everyone has a gift.

There are homeless veterans who find housing, depressed unemployed workers who find counseling, and anxious teenagers who've found a teacher who will listen.

The Free Press tries to fill its news pages with stories of random acts of kindness, 6-year-olds who won't let a handicap stop them and humbled church-going folks who spend hours baking lefse, filling shoeboxes with gifts for needy children and praying for those in need of prayers.

It doesn't always seem like enough to outweigh all the bad news from the fighting in the Middle East to the tragedy of storm-destroyed homes on the East Coast.

The uplifting truth is that there are so many acts of kindness every day, everywhere, they are not so unusual as to make news.

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