Only in America: Thanksgiving reflections of an Irishman

Priscilla Du Preez/Unsplash

On Thursday, America celebrates Thanksgiving - a time when families spend hours and sometimes days cooking every delicious food known to man, a time when y'all sit around a table with the family you love and the family you tolerate – and you pray a political argument does not start before saying grace. After food, it will likely be time for the main event – watching your favorite sport on your 42 inch TV and having leftovers.

America you truly have traveled a long way since the Mayflower pilgrims landed on your shores 398 years ago. Those pilgrims celebrated the first Thanksgiving in 1621 because of a successful harvest and celebrated the second one in 1623 because of the rain after a long drought. (Can you imagine ever being so thankful for rain, that you would celebrate it?).

Before you enjoy your family time, I think it is critical to reflect on some of the miracles we see in our world every day, that we may take for granted.

Earth & Mother Nature

In this world of instant gratification, we take so many things for granted and just expect things to happen like it is routine. We expect the sun to rise in the east and set in the west – but have you ever looked at our planet and be in complete awe?

  • Have you ever thought about how our planet is constantly rotating inside a system of other planets that also rotate around each other and yet we never collide?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of us simply being able to walk around - our planet is constantly traveling around 1000 miles an hour and yet we never fall or lose balance?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of rain? We live in an atmosphere that collects moisture from our planet which then resides in the clouds in the sky and then is released when they collide.
  • Have you ever looked at the beauty of our planet and feel like it is an artist canvas? Whether it is the slopes, the different colors in trees, plants or grass or simply the amazing sky filled with so much character?
  • Ever thought about the miracle of farming and growing the crops we eat? The fact we can plant a seed in the soil, water it, look after it and it grows and then we eat it when it fully matures?

Standard of Living

We have also been blessed to see incredible man-made advancements over the last 10, 20 and 100 years that we should be thankful for. I am in my mid-thirties so let's compare the standard of living from when I was growing up and look at the advancements to today.

Food

Let's start with my favorite advancements. Have you noticed the increase in choices of food available to you? When we were growing up some produce was seasonal - today you can buy food at any time of the year as food comes from around the globe.

In our local supermarket, they regularly have promotions with food from other cultures around the world - they have French week, Spanish week, American week etc. If you like food from a different culture, you can get it most of the year now.

Entertainment

Have you noticed how easy it is to entertain yourself today and the standard of that entertainment? When we were growing up, we would go outside and entertain ourselves by playing soccer or some other game and when it was dark we would come inside and go to bed. On rainy days, we could sit inside and play board games or watch the one TV in the household which only had 6 stations and was about 3 foot deep. If you wanted to watch a programme at a certain time you had to watch live, and if someone else in your family wanted to watch something at the same time, YOU HAD TO COMPROMISE - or if it was your parents, you watched what they wanted.

Today we entertain ourselves by playing video games from the comfort of our own chair on the X-Box or PlayStation. We can watch live TV, or we can watch on demand on our flat-screen which likely have 100's of stations. If that was not enough we likely have more than one TV so there is no need for compromise and we have the added benefits of apps where we can stream and binge watch shows on platforms like Netflix or Amazon that we can even watch on our phones or tablets.

Technology

Phones

Do you remember the phone you grew up with? There was usually one phone in the house, it was centrally located, you had zero privacy, you actually had to answer the phone to see who was calling, and the most horrific thing about the phone - it only had one function, to make and receive phone calls.

Today people use cell phones and we all have one of our own. We can walk and talk, have complete privacy *(apart from the NSA), we can call screen and decide if we actually want to talk to the person calling. Today we can do a lot more on our phones including texting, email, take pictures, look at the internet, go onto social media, listen to radio or podcasts, watch videos, listen to music and play games. Today we have more power and access to more information with our phones than Bill Clinton had when he was President of the United States.

Computers

Do you remember your first computer? I do. It was big, bulky, slow and could only do a few things on it. It had Microsoft word, excel, dial-up internet, and two games - solitaire and minesweeper. When we wanted to use it, it took forever to load.

Today computers are smaller, faster with Wi-Fi broadband and extremely fast. We also have laptops which today can do more than at any point in human history. We have cloud technology which connects everyone. I am blessed to do a show on the Blaze and each week I am amazed at what we can do. Every Thursday I sit in my office in Ireland and use a free app on my PC, record my show, upload it to the cloud which takes seconds and I can email my producer Kris (who is nearly 5000 miles away) the details and he can instantly access and download my recordings. He then edits my show, (hopefully makes me sound better), uploads to all platforms and people can listen anywhere around the world.

Music

If you are under 21 today, you really don't understand the joy of music. I grew up in an era where we had to work hard to listen to our favorite songs. We had these things called cassette tapes and you had to rewind and fast forward several times to get to the exact point where your song started. If you wanted to repeat the song, you had to go thru the whole process again. I remember living thru the revolution of the Discman where music came on CD's that allowed you to skip to any song you wanted easily. Both of these are rarely seen today as they have been replaced by the iPod or streaming.

The other option was something we did every day after school - we would come home, put on a station that just played music called MTV (today you likely know MTV as the station where you watch 16 and pregnant or teen mom), and we would do our homework and wait until our favorite song came on.

Education

As impressive as the above are, I believe we have made the biggest improvements in education. Today there is no excuse for ignorance as you can teach yourself ANYTHING. If you wanted to be smart when I was growing up, you had to do really well in school, go to college and actually work hard. If you wanted to learn about a certain topic it required you to go to your library with all the nerds, look for books on the topic and go thru each book and learn about it.

Today you can educate yourself from the comfort of your own home. Is doing well in school still a positive thing? YES. But today you don't need to go to college to be smart. Colleges like MIT make all their courses available online for free. If you want to research something today, you don't need to go the local library, you can google and research it on the internet from the comfort of your living room or even on the toilet in complete privacy.

Today you also have access to more information, with the creation of companies like Amazon; you have access to more products than ever before. You can buy physical books in a used condition, you can buy books for your Kindle or if you are not the best reader you can buy audiobooks. The other advantage of these wonderful services is sometimes you can get access to free products. I am always searching Amazon and I purchased and downloaded 12 different books of writings by Edmund Burke for the grand total of ZERO dollars. Amazon also regularly has penguin classics like Moby Dick etc. for free.

Conclusion

Our world has changed dramatically for everyone in the last thirty years. With the advancements in technology, a lot of these products have become considerably cheaper over time which means any positive changes directly benefit EVERYONE in society and they can help empower people who come from poorer backgrounds.

Looking at all the advancements we have made, it would be very easy to simply celebrate material things. However, that is not the real miracle here. The real miracle is the environment needed to create these products and historically only America has truly ever understood this idea.

Man is meant to live free to pursue their own happiness, to be allowed to succeed or fail on their own merit and if they are successful to keep the fruits of their labor.

It is why the world changed and improved for the better when America was formed. If we share these principles again, just close your eyes and imagine what our world could look like in 5, 10 or 20 years.

Jonathon hosts a weekly one hour show exclusive to the Blaze Radio Network called Freedom's Disciple where he highlights the IDEA of America, promotes the eternal principles of freedom & and shares his passion of America's Founding documents. Please check out his show for FREE here.

As the left tries to erase America's history and disparage nearly everything about our nation's founding, Glenn Beck set the record straight about the Declaration of Independence, what it really says, and why he believes it is the "greatest mission statement of all time."

On the radio program Monday, Glenn read something you've probably never heard before: a section of the earliest known draft of the Declaration of Independence, written by Thomas Jefferson in July 1776 and lost for more than a century and a half.

"This wasn't found until 1947; the original draft of the Declaration was found in a bunch of Thomas Jefferson's writings, in a box in the Library of Congress," Glenn said. "This takes everything that you have learned about Thomas Jefferson and turns it upside down. It also explains why we didn't eliminate slavery. It also explains that our Founders felt passionately about slavery, that they tried to end slavery. I want to read just this paragraph to you. This changes absolutely everything."

Watch the video below for more details:



Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

On the radio program Monday, Glenn Beck, Pat Gray, and Stu Burguiere reacted to a recent Washington Post op-ed in which the author, Ron Charles, suggests that "as Confederate statues finally tumble across America, [and] television networks are marching through their catalogues looking to take down racially offensive content," perhaps the next items that should be up on the cancel-culture chopping block are "problematic books."

"Monuments celebrating racist traitors, which were erected to fabricate history and terrify black Americans, are not works of art that deserve our respect or preservation. Similarly, scenes of modern-day white comedians reenacting minstrel-show caricatures are not ironical interrogations of racism that we have to stomach any longer. But complex works of literature are large, they contain multitudes," Charles wrote.

He goes on to argue that "calibrating our Racism Detector to spot only a few obvious sins" is but an insidious source of self-satisfaction when compared to the process of critical debate on the values and intentions of history's literary legends.

"If cancel culture has a weakness, it's that it risks short-circuiting the process of critical engagement that leads to our enlightenment," Charles wrote. "Scanning videos for blackface or searching text files for the n-word is so much easier than contending with, say, the systemic tokenism of TV rom-coms or the unbearable whiteness of Jane Austen."

Could cancel culture really spiral all the way down to book burning? In the clip below, Glenn, Pat, and Stu agreed that this radical progressive movement is really about erasing America's history and overturning the foundation of our country. The fundamental transformation of America is happening now.

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

It's been a tough year, America. Our news media is inundating us with images of destruction, violence, and division in attempts not only to desecrate our nation, but to make us turn our backs on it. That's why now, more than ever, we need to take an up-close look at America's history to remember what it is we're fighting for and how to fight for it with practical action.

Join Glenn Beck, broadcasting from Standing Rock Ranch, as he takes us to Plymouth, Gettysburg, and Federal Hall on an important journey through America's remarkable history to inspire a brighter future. Glenn asks the hard questions of every American. Is this system worth saving? Is there a better way? Where do we go from here, and how do we answer those questions?

Featuring performances from the Millennial Choirs and Orchestras, David Osmond, a very special children's choir, and guests Bob Woodson, Tim Ballard, David Barton, Burgess Owens, Kathy Barnette, Anna Paulina Luna, and Tim Barton.

Watch the full special presentation below:


Want more from Glenn Beck?

To enjoy more of Glenn's masterful storytelling, thought-provoking analysis and uncanny ability to make sense of the chaos, subscribe to BlazeTV — the largest multi-platform network of voices who love America, defend the Constitution and live the American dream.

"Restoring Hope" has been a labor of love for Glenn and his team and tonight is the night! "Restoring the Covenant" was supposed to take place in Boston, New York, Philadelphia, Gettysburg and Washington D.C. but thanks to COVID-19, that plan had to be scrapped. "Restoring Hope" is what was left after having to scrap nearly two years of planning. The Herald Journal in Idaho detailed what the event was supposed to be and what it turned into. Check out the article below to get all the details.

Glenn Beck discusses patriotic, religious program filmed at Idaho ranch

On July 2, commentator Glenn Beck and his partners will issue a challenge from Beck's corner of Franklin County to anyone who will listen: "Learn the truth, commit to the truth, then act on the truth."

Over the last few weeks, he has brought about 1,000 people to his ranch to record different portions of the program that accompanies the challenge. On June 19, about 400 members of the Millennial Choir and Orchestra met at West Side High School before boarding WSSD buses to travel to a still spring-green section of Beck's ranch to record their portion of the program.

Read the whole article HERE