November 26, 2019

Thanksgiving 2019: Thankful and Hopeful

It is the time of year for being thankful. Humorist, Will Rogers said, “Be thankful we are not getting all the Government we are paying for.” While this is stated in jest, I think we can all identify with Will Rogers sentiment. We as Americans sometimes forget to be thankful and concentrate on eating for Thanksgiving. Writer Erma Bombeck said “I come from a family where gravy is considered a beverage.” While TV personality Jay Leno quipped “You can tell you ate too much for Thanksgiving when you have to let out your bathrobe.” I think we have all been there at some point and in sleep we can be heard whispering “pass the sweet potatoes.”

While it is humorous to think about family gatherings and overeating, in all seriousness we should never forget that Thanksgiving is day of thanks. We as Americans and union members have much to be thankful for. This has been a difficult year for us, we have seen plant closings and the longest strike against General Motors in 40 years. While we are encouraged by gains made through this round of bargaining, we feel for families affected by plant closings and corporate greed. We have to remember that each day is a gift and new chance to fight for the rights of working families. There are many times I feel discouraged as I see injustice, greed, and corruption in our daily news. However, I remember the efforts of this great membership and I find new hope and after all hope is what keeps us going. The poet Emily Dickerson wrote “Hope is the thing with feathers, that perches in the soul and sings the tune without the words and never stops at all.” When I visit the local unions and members in our region I am filled with hope. I know the strength of our union resides in the walls of these local union halls and my soul sings when I see the solidarity and resolve in our members.

The great American writer Alice Walker, who penned the Pulitzer Prize winning novel, The Color Purple said “Thank you is the best prayer anyone could say, and I say that one a lot. Thank you expresses extreme gratitude, humility, and understanding.” This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things; my family, friends, and my salvation. I am also especially thankful for you, the members. To be able to serve you fills my heart with gratitude and humility and I am truly thankful for the opportunity.

This Thanksgiving may we all take time to be thankful for the blessings of our lives. My ardent hope and prayer is that each of you will be happy, healthy, and thankful for the blessings in your life. On behalf of the entire Region 8 leadership and staff, Happy Thanksgiving to each and every one of you and your families.

Mitchell Smith Region 8 Director








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