November 24, 2021

AF CommunityCulture

Four Things to Be Thankful For This Holiday Season

By: Cindy Cerquitella

Ever since moving to DC in 2006, Thanksgiving has been my favorite holiday. Over the years I’ve enjoyed large thanksgivings with strangers, intimate meals with longtime family friends and everything in between. No matter who I am celebrating with, one tradition has survived them all; going around the table and sharing the things we’re grateful for while taking a big ol’ swig of Wild Turkey (just us? Hopefully not!) In that spirit, here are four things I’m most thankful for this year. 

1. Capitalism -Walking the aisles of Whole Foods last night, my husband suddenly exclaimed, “My God Capitalism is amazing, look at all this stuff!”  And you know what? He’s right! Our access to fresh produce, 40lb turkeys, natural wine and so much more bounty is all thanks to our market system. This system provides a livelihood for people whose passion is developing new breeds of squash, or kneading dough to make parker house rolls, and it fills our tables to the brim, at a variety of price points. Even if I’d like the market to be much freer than it is, I still say a silent thank you each year for living in a market system. 

2. America’s Diversity- I was recently talking with friends about visits we’ve made to Europe. While the culture and the language and the tradition is so special to behold, one thing we were struck with is the sameness of it all. In America we are so fortunate to live in a community of neighbors from across the globe. And while yes, that diversity leads to difficult conversations and forces us to confront hard truths, we are beyond blessed with the opportunity to share and learn from a variety of cultures and traditions that come together into a uniquely American experience. I like this aspect of American life to be represented on my holiday table, so I’m always sure to mix up my mashed potatoes or brussel sprouts with ingredients from other cultures, because I’m so glad we are all here together. 

3. Champions of Freedom-  It’s no secret that our nation is facing serious challenges, both from government overreach and from fear of ostracization by our fellow citizens. In a time when speaking up, and offering opposing opinions can be met with serious backlash, I am so grateful for the young leaders that are still willing to take the risk, in the name of advancing a free society. Whether it’s Hannah Cox at FEE, Stephen Kent Stephen Kent on Rightly or Daniel Di Martino Daniel Di Martino and so many others, their decision to put themselves out there helps all of us be a little braver every day. 

4. The AF Community – The last two years have required America’s Future to adapt quickly in order to continue to serve you, our audience. Through lockdowns, mandates, rising crime and work obligations AF chapter leaders and hub leaders around the country have ridden every wave, and jumped every hurdle in order to support their communities. Our generation has a responsibility to leave our nation better than we found it, and if The Economist’s recent cover story recent cover story is any indication, that’s not going to be an easy battle, but with allies like the AF community around the country, I know we’ve got a fighting chance.