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A season of giving, community and thankfulness

News-Miner opinion: We still have reasons to be thankful.

Even today — as a pandemic rages, political divisions run rampant, and we’re told by pundits, commentators and blue checks on social media that times are worse than ever — we are thankful. And we should be.

As we transition to the holiday season, it’s more important than ever to recognize that idea of thankfulness. It’s easy to overlook as the day’s headlines and endless notifications on your devices remind you of tragedies throughout the world. It’s easy (too easy) to become cynical, apathetic and disillusioned. It is a battle worth waging, though. Despite how bad we perceive these times to be, there is still good to be celebrated.

Fairbanks has a long history of doing good works and recognizing thanks. Reaching out and helping others is something our community is known for, be it stopping to check on a stranded driver in the winter, helping the Fairbanks Community Food Bank and Stone Soup Cafe feed those in need, or giving to Santa’s Helpers or any of the organizations that ensure a child has gifts to open on Christmas morning. It’s those small things, like checking on that stranded driver when it’s 20 below zero or dropping five cans of food into a donation basket, that make us thankful — thankful to be in a community that reaches out across boundaries and differences and looks out for one another.

Thanks, community and giving are concepts that go hand in hand. As we shake our heads at events that make us question the good in today’s world, know that somewhere today when someone in need has a meal, that person is thankful for your help. Most of us have the luxury of flicking a switch and seeing electricity surge to our TVs, lamps or ovens. For that, we should be thankful. Many of us can make a last-minute run to the grocery store to pick up that one thing you forgot on your grocery list. To be able to do that when others can’t — that is something for which to be thankful.

It’s not just the little things we overlook in our thanks. Larger concepts, such as freedom, faith and liberty, deserve our acknowledgment. From small, innocuous gestures to grander abstract ideas, we still have much to be thankful for both locally and nationally. It’s easy to forget but important to remember.

As we move from this week of thanks into the season of giving, stop and consider what you’re thankful for and ask yourself what you can do to give back in the coming year. Giving and thankfulness get a lot of attention in November and December, but they’re ideas we should hold close all year long. Whenever you give to your community, someone will always be thankful. Let’s not forget that.

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The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

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Guidelines

The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at newsminer.com. Contact the editor with questions at letters@newsminer.com or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email (letters@newsminer.com). Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

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