It’s the dawn of Thanksgiving week, that time when we pause to stuff ourselves with rich, fatty food, watch way too much football and, oh, yeah, give thanks for everything we have.

So here goes. Thanks. For nothing.

I mean it — what is there to be thankful for? The country is going to hades in a handcart, at least according to the majority of Americans. In an NBC News poll released recently, 71% of Americans said they think the United States is on the wrong track. Of those questioned, 53% said the United States’ best years “may already be behind us.”

Wow. That’s encouraging. Thanks for nothing.

The stock market is hitting record highs, but so are consumer prices. Inflation is growing at an alarming rate. In October, the Consumer Price Index rose at the fastest pace since 1990.

The price of a gallon of gas is up 16 cents in the past month and $1.31 in the past year.

And if you can afford the gas to get you there, going to the grocery store will offer little relief from sticker shock. Food prices rose .9% in October, driven primarily by higher prices for meat, eggs, fish, vegetables, cereals and bakery products. One bit of good news, the price of alcoholic beverages fell, so you can drink to forget your diet consists primary of Spam and ramen noodles.

Soon after Thanksgiving, of course, comes Christmas, and if you want Junior to be thrilled by the coveted toy you and Santa place under the tree, you’d better get cracking. There’s a little thing called the global supply chain, which is totally screwed up, with goods stuck in transit, sitting on cargo ships off our coasts or moldering on docks waiting for trucks to pick them up and deliver them to our local stores. This year Junior may be lucky if he gets a lump of coal, given the 2.6% rise in global coal demand in 2021.

Thanks for nothing.

If you can afford to go out to eat, or to the store, the service you receive is liable to be poor, given the fact so many employers are having trouble finding willing workers. That means not enough store clerks, servers, baristas, delivery people, etc. That makes for frustrated customers which, given the fact that everyone is cranky and out of sorts these days anyway, is a bad combination.

Thanks for nothing.

Then there’s the pandemic. Remember when we locked ourselves in our homes in order to “flatten the curve,” and bring the whole mess to a halt in a matter of weeks? Yeah, that was months ago and there is still no end in sight.

Meanwhile people are still getting sick and dying, the death toll now approaching 760,000 in the U.S. and 11,000 in our fair state. Many of us have lost friends or family members to the coronavirus, and nearly everybody knows someone who has.

And since we fight and scrap about darn near everything these days, why not about COVID-19? We battle over wearing masks and getting vaccinated, either or both of which only serve to stem the spread of the virus.

Thanks for nothing.

Wait a minute. There’s got to be something to be thankful for. We are still a free and prosperous nation, the place everyone wants to be, hence our immigration woes, but we’re trying to focus on the positive here.

We are a God-fearing country, with each having the freedom to worship if, when, where and how he or she chooses.

We have a lot of problems, granted, but we are a resourceful, hard-working people who can be counted on to solve the nation’s difficulties.

So don’t focus on what you don’t have, but what you do. If you have a roof over your head and food on your table, you are far ahead of many of your neighbors. If you woke up this morning you are well ahead of those we have lost in the past year, so give thanks.

If you have a job, even if it drives you crazy, give thanks. If you are loved, by many people or a few, or even one, express your gratitude.

At present, this country is not in a shooting war with anyone. That is worthy of heartfelt thanks.

So many of us are vaccinated this year that more of us will be able to gather around the holiday table. If that is the case in your household, say thank you, even if your holiday fare turns out to be Spam and ramen noodles.

Despite all the problems in our nation, and the world in general, we all have much for which to be thankful.

Thanks for nothing? Hardly. Thanks for everything.

Happy Thanksgiving.

Click for the latest, full-access Enid News & Eagle headlines | Text Alerts | app downloads

Mullin is an award-winning writer and columnist who retired in 2017 after 41 years with the News & Eagle. Email him at or write him in care of the Enid News & Eagle at PO Box 1192, Enid, OK, 73702.

•• The News & Eagle has traditionally published personal opinions of writers and readers through editorials, columns and letters to the editor on its Opinion Page. The opinions shared are those of the writers and not the newspaper.

•• Submit your opinion for publication to Find out more about submitting letters to the editor at

Have a question about this opinion piece? Do you see something we missed? Do you have a story idea for the News & Eagle? Send an email to

React to this story:


Trending Video

Recommended for you