Focusing on the negatives? Really?

By Tim Timmons

Tomorrow is the day we set aside to offer thanks. In a world where way too many of us focus on the negatives, perhaps we might keep a few things in mind?

According to our government, 16,673 of our friends and neighbors have died from this pandemic. The population of Crawfordsville is 16,118. Toss in Waveland and Alamo for good measure and that’s about how many folks we’ve lost. (And please, for those who claim the figures are inflated could we agree that too many haven’t survived? Can we at least find common ground on that?)

It’s been a long time – almost two years – of living with this new normal. At least there will be more family gatherings tomorrow than we had a year ago. That’s something to be thankful for, especially when maybe, if we’re lucky, the end of this madness might not be too far away. Perhaps we should keep that in mind instead of spending our time and energy screaming about Fauci-ism?

Let’s also keep in mind and prayers the many victims from the senseless act of violence in Waukesha, Wisc. We’re less than two weeks away from a very similar parade right here in beautiful downtown Crawfordsville. Did you see the images of tiny children, some from a dance studio eerily similar to our very own, lying in the streets? As heart-wrenching as that was, we’re thankful it wasn’t here.

You see, no matter how horrific the events, no matter how many tragedies, our nation has endured. We’ve enjoyed great presidents, lived through terrible ones and all the in-betweens. We’ve survived grave injustices. Our fathers and their fathers have seen pandemics, economic booms and busts, wars, conflicts and riots. We’ve seen good courts, bad courts, heinous acts of atrocities and numerous feats of heroism. We’ve lived through assassinations, coronations and thankfully an emancipation.

Heck, we even survived disco.

There is much to be thankful for.

How about we take a good look around when everyone sits down to eat tomorrow? Some of those seats might be empty next year – who knows, maybe even yours? We’re promised nothing. But we have today. That’s a lot to be thankful for.

Inhale deeply. For many of us that means the mouth-watering aromas of rolls baking, noodles boiling, pies cooling, turkey, gravy, stuffing and cookies. It brings back decades of memories. It is a lot to be thankful for, especially when others in our community smell the stale odors of living alone in a place that ain’t exactly the Ritz. No one is cooking for them. No family gathered. Some would give a great deal to trade places with you or me.

We should be thankful. Yet we focus on the negatives.

The country’s going to hell in a handbasket under (choose one) Trump or Biden, people scream. It’s the Democrats! It’s the Republicans! There’s plenty of finger-pointing. We are a nation divided.

But answer me this – when haven’t we been? It wasn’t that long ago when one generation was told not to trust anyone over 30. Women were told they weren’t equal. People of color were told they were fine – just don’t drink water from the same fountain as the rest of us. We had a war with y’all down south fighting us’ns up north.

We are – have been – a nation divided.

Yet we’re still standing.

It’s a lot to be thankful for.

So for whatever these scribbles are worth, I hope that we choose to leave behind the negatives for a day or three. No offense to our tee-vee cousins, but how about turning CNN and Fox News off tomorrow? How about turning on the Macy’s Parade? If your giant screen has the ability, flip the color off and tell the grandkids to squint real hard. Explain that’s about the quality of the picture we used to watch – only a lot smaller. A lot. Maybe if we can do that, we’ll see the bigger picture. The one that deserves our thanks.

Two cents, which is about how much Timmons said his columns are worth, appears periodically on Wednesdays in The Paper. Timmons is the publisher of The Paper and can be contacted at