November 19, 2018

Thanksgiving Message from UAW Region 8 Director Mitchell Smith

As the Thanksgiving holiday is quickly approaching, many Americans will get up and turn on the television and watch the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. Afterwards, everyone will gather around the table and enjoy a wonderful traditional Thanksgiving meal, followed by naps and football. However, is that what Thanksgiving should really be about? Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on the blessings of our lives. Sometimes, we can become overwhelmed by the things around us. It seems that we face obstacles every day that bring us down and it is easy to become discouraged. However, we must never lose sight of the blessings in our life.


When we think of the Pilgrims who came here so long ago, they met many hardships. Rough seas slowed their progress and they arrived in late December just off what is now Cape Cod. The group lived on the Mayflower for several months, as half of their number perished due to the conditions. Early spring the group moved ashore and began building a life in a new land. The group was assisted by the Native Americans who taught them to live off the land and without this help the group would have perished within the first year.


As we look at our own blessings, often we can see how truly blessed we are. Our families are such a blessing to us and the reason we work so hard to provide. Those of us in labor understand as well as any the sacrifice that working class Americans make for their families. We turn the wheels that make the economy go and understand what it means to build a home, raise a family, and prepare for the future. There are no trust funds that provide our homes and our lives, but the reward of our labor. Being thankful for a job that allows us to do that is natural. At the end of the day, providing for our family is a great blessing that we are share in. President, John F. Kennedy said, “We must find time to stop and thank the people who make a difference in our lives.” This is a very true statement. We all should stop and count the blessings of the people in our lives. Our loved ones make everything worthwhile and we should never take them for granted. When counting our blessings, make sure our loved ones are priority.


In addition to counting our blessings, we should remember that we have a responsibility to share our good fortune with others. Pastor W.T. Purkiser said, “Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our thanksgiving.”This year may we all resolve to make sure we use the blessings in our life to be a blessing for others. If we truly appreciate the things in our life, we will want to share those blessings.


I would like each member of UAW Region 8 to know what a blessing you all are to me in my life. On behalf of the Smith Family and the leadership and staff of Region 8, I would like to wish you all a happy and blessed Thanksgiving spent with friends and loved ones. It is our fervent prayer that each of you will enjoy love and happiness as we head into this holiday season.


In Solidarity,

Mitchell Smith Region 8 Director








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