Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Words from Winterbilt

A Time to be Thankful

Shannon Bohrer

This is the time of each year that we are reminded to be thankful for what we have. I am always thankful for my family, my neighbors and where I live. I have a good life with meaning and purpose, however there are many that have lost their jobs and have fallen on not so good times. And there are others, like the dairy farmers, who are working hard every day seven days a week and are receiving less for their milk than it costs to produce. There are times when the lesson of life is that even if you work hard -sometimes life is just not fair.

It is easy for me to be thankful because life has been good to me. But that does not mean that everyone has the same perspective. Although the recession is over, at least that was the title on Newsweek several weeks ago, I don't think the people that have lost their homes, the unemployed, and the laid off manufacturing workers and the dairy farmers feel the same way. That's why I feel it is important to be thankful for what you have - because we do not know what next year will bring.

As we enter the holidays there is cause for optimism. The economy does seem to be getting a little better. The stock markets are up a little and that's good, at least if you have money in the markets. Congress is also working on a health care plan and as soon as the insurance industry is finished writing it Congress may pass it. For those of you that have good insurance you may not like the idea that our government is trying to pass a national health care plan. However for those that work hard and can't afford insurance maybe it's a good thing. I am always amazed that both sides can have good arguments. If fact, I often find myself agreeing with both sides and sometimes the solutions may be in the middle.

I learned to be thankful for what I have from both of my parents. This attitude may have resulted from two people who grew up in the depression, the one in the thirties. My late mother was one of the seven Morgan sisters from Yellow Springs. In fact she was the last one to pass away. No matter how bad things seemed, she always took an optimistic view, especially that someone else is always worse off than you. Her last year was a little rough; trips to Baltimore for radiation and chemotherapy. There were many times she felt bad, but she rarely, if ever, complained. We spent a lot of time in waiting rooms and on numerous occasions she leaned over and whispered to me, "Shannon, there are some real sick people here." In return I would say "Mom that's why you're here, you're sick." She would then explain to me that she was old and old people get sick, it was the young people she saw, with no hair and hooked up to IV poles, that saddened her. She was a very good mother and she taught me many things, one which stands out is that you can't be happy unless you appreciate what you have.

I don't know what the new-year will bring. There seems to be enough politicians and some business leaders, although the term leader may be inappropriate, that believe that business and the economy will get better. If fact many of the businesses are so confident that they started giving out bonuses again! I don't mean to sound negative, but many of these businesses are at the same companies we just bailed out one year ago. Of course Congress and government regulators are at the wheel and they are going to limit the amount? Many are limited to one half million dollars!

While I appreciate the optimism I don't see where giving out money that we loaned them, to individuals that caused many of our financial problems - is a solution. It is amazing that the proponents use the same arguments that without the high salary and bonuses they would lose the talented people. Do they really think anybody believes that?

It may surprise you, it did me, when I learned that salaries and bonuses on Wall Street come from a percentage of the income the company earns - not profits - but income. That alone should tell everyone to forgo the bonuses and let them walk. I wonder if any of the bonus money came from the consolidated milk producers that pay the farmers so little for their milk that many cannot afford health insurance. I am sure that when Congress does institute the new regulations, that is after the financial businesses write them, that everything will be fine.

For the moment I am grateful for what I have. No matter how many problems the country has, financial and/or economic and unemployment, I feel lucky to have been born in this time and place and in this country. Merry Christmas and happy holidays to everyone

Read other articles by Shannon Bohrer