The season of hustle and bustle is upon us, in case you haven't noticed, and at times, it seems like there is too much to do and not enough time in the day. In an effort to maximize Black Friday, millions of consumers bounce from one store to the next, looking for the best "door-buster" deals on Christmas gifts for their friends or family (please don't bust down any doors this year). Some shoppers don't even bother with Black Friday - they'll hit the stores later today, even before the Thanksgiving table is cleared.
That's all well and good if that's your preference, but with the holiday season officially here, we at the Independent encourage you to slow down, even stop for a while, and reflect on your lives and what you are truly thankful for this year.
While you do this, keep in mind there are people in this world who are hurting, either deeply personally because of the loss of a loved one, or because of things that have happened that are out of their control, such as natural disasters that leave thousands homeless and without food or water.
We know no one wants to dwell on all the negativity confronting the people of this world - people you will never even meet - but we need to keep them all in our thoughts and prayers as we celebrate Thanksgiving with our family and friends with food, football and fellowship.
Reminding yourself of the hardships that millions of people face each day is also a good way to put what's going on in your own life into perspective. We take a lot of things for granted in our own little world, and now - on this Thanksgiving Day - is the perfect opportunity to count our blessings.
We know you're busy and there's a lot to do, but while you enjoy this holiday, take a moment to think about what you are really thankful for. Or, take it a step further and reach out to help others who are in need sometime between now and the end of the year. It might become habit-forming. As this year's winners of the United Way-Marshall Independent Essay Contest reminded a room full of proud parents at the Marshall-Lyon County Library on Monday evening, it's important to give of your time to volunteer, to donate, to give back in some way to your community if you're able.
Let us always continue to strive to find time in our busy schedules to do something for someone else.