Later on in the day, I saw a news story about the Occupy movement, and the juxtaposition between Thanksgiving and the “occupiers” struck me because they represent the exact opposite of thankfulness. I can appreciate people standing up for what they believe in, and certainly movements against inequality have played a major role in shaping our country for the better, but this is one I just can’t see eye to eye with.
The last time I checked, America was still the land of a different word that begins with the letter “o” and ends with the letter “y.” There is more opportunity for an individual to succeed across North America than anywhere else in the world.
There has to, however, be a very distinct line drawn in the sand between opportunity and entitlement. Just because you’re born here does not mean you’re entitled to anything. To take advantage of opportunity requires risk and a willingness to work hard. There are always exceptions, but those who have reaped rewards, by and large, have endured a lot of risk and put in a lot of work to do so.
If we penalize the risk-takers to the point where it’s not worth it to be in business – including small business owners who are the heads of S corporations and will bear the brunt personally – the opportunity they have created for many others will also go away.
Make no mistake; I’m fully aware of the myriad of problems America faces. Am I convinced that any of the candidates for the next presidential election, or either party for that matter, are ready and able to fix them? I’m not sure, but that doesn’t mean I don’t remain bullish on America and Americans in general. All I have to do is look around at our young people who are taking advantage of the vast opportunities available to them and helping shape a positive future for our country.
We all have the opportunity to succeed here, and to build better lives for ourselves and future generations. That is not the case in many other countries, and to me that’s something to be thankful for.