By Governor Kristi Noem
November 27, 2019
The story of the first Thanksgiving is one you’ve probably heard (or some version of it anyway). But a few years ago, I learned about the second Thanksgiving that was celebrated. The pilgrims had faced tough growing conditions that year that hit their yields pretty hard and food became scarce. The colony’s governor called for a fast to preserve resources. When the fast was finally lifted, the pilgrims gathered together, and the Thanksgiving feast began.
I imagine their meal was hardly the spread many of us have today, but there’s something special about the fact that this tradition of gratitude has lasted through the generations.
While many of us may not face a food shortage in the same way the pilgrims did, South Dakota undoubtedly understands the reality of tough times.
This year has been far from easy. Many folks continue to deal with the aftermath of the most severe natural disaster our state has ever seen. Producers have faced another year of low markets and incredible uncertainty… not to mention the fact that many haven’t even been able to get into the fields.
When you’re in the thick of things, it can be hard to see the blessings that are right in front of you. I recognize that. But taking the time to acknowledge those blessings can really shift a person’s perspective. My mom is a big fan of Willie Nelson, and I love how he put it: “When I started counting my blessings, my whole life turned around.”
This Thanksgiving, take some time to think about the blessings in your life. For me, it’s my family, my relationship with the Lord, the opportunity I have to serve the state I love, the freedoms we enjoy every day… the list could go on and on. Maybe this year, you could even put that gratitude to action. Consider giving to a local organization that helps people in need. Build a new friendship. Show compassion when you don’t feel like it. This is gratitude in action.
From my family to yours, have a safe and blessed Thanksgiving.