People out loud: Ever present to be thankful

November 2016 Posted in Columnists & Opinion

DixonThis is a year for which we have so many things to be thankful. Individually, we have to determine if our glass is half full or half empty. That is a personal philosophy dictated by individual circumstances, personalities and choice. Mine has always been a choice of having the glass half-full and being appreciative of having a glass from which to drink in life.

As a society, we should be extremely thankful for Rotary International and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. When Rotary became involved in the rather ambitious fight to end polio in the world in the mid-80s, there were 350,000 cases of this crippling disease world-wide. As of this month, there are 29 cases, primarily between the borders of Pakistan and Afghanistan, with a minor recurrence in Nigeria included in those 29 cases. That is a direct result of Rotary International, its individual chapters worldwide, thousands of volunteers, and the benevolent nature of Bill and Melinda Gates.

It also represents just one of many great reasons to join and be an active member of Rotary Club of Silverton. From Homer Davenport Days to building mosaic fountains to helping people pull weeds, Rotary does good things. It is not a club for the passive, but for those who want to serve in active and meaningful ways. And it is looking for 15 new members over the next several months. Contact Beth Davisson, Member Recruiting, at

In our community, we have so many good people who give so much of themselves. Amy and Keith Amano personify that description. They work with kids, are active in their church, quick with a song to cheer up passersby, and are a collective ball of positive energy. Their attitudes are infectious, personable and can-do. There is an old cliché – Some people hope things happen. Some people watch things happen. And some people make things happen. The Amanos always hope things happen for the better, they seldom watch and stand idly by, and are usually on the forefront of making things happen, for the greater good. One is a youth minister, another calls on people who are suffering. Let’s be thankful for people like Keith and Amy landing in our hamlet.

Nationally, let’s say a prayer in thanks that the election is over and that we move forward in positive ways for all Americans. Half of the country is happy with the results, and the other half is sad or angry. We have more in common than we have differences. We all want a better life for our families, our kids, our friends and neighbors. We all want peace. We all crave good, solid, effective leadership from those who govern. We enjoy our freedom to worship and our freedom to speak our minds. We want to be secure from attacks on our country and our way of life. Let’s work together, not fall or grow apart. Let’s seek solutions and seek compromise when doing so does not compromise our core values. Let’s hope that our president-elect represents us all and works in a bi-partisan nature that ends congressional gridlock and ensures effective, sure, and long-lasting progress. The people have spoken – music to some ears and not so much to others. Our democracy worked, once again. We live  in a non-perfect world, but we all want to do better. Let’s strive for that, a prayer I can get behind.

I am thankful for my wonderful family and that it is going to expand by one soon, a Christmas season grandchild we have waited for and will welcome with open arms, tears of joy, and a commitment to give that child our best – love, support, hugs, kisses and security. But first, let’s say “Thanks” before we say “Presents.”  Thanks for babies, one of God’s finest gifts.

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