Happy Thanksgiving 2009

We'd like to wish all our readers a warm and happy Thanksgiving.

As we gather with family and give thanks for our blessings, we are mindful that for many around the world, conditions are still as dire as they were for those first ragged settlers who clung to existence after crossing the Atlantic to the New World in the 1620s.

What made such a difference in the annals of this country versus the situation that still prevails in much of the world? Upon reflection, we would submit that much of the answer lies in the word "Freedom."

While Americans are undoubtedly thankful for the freedom we enjoy, it is appropriate to go one step further, and ask where that freedom came from, as the Acton Institute did last year in a film entitled The Birth of Freedom (see clip below).

It also occurs to us that there is a connection between the common Thanksgiving symbol of the cornucopia (or "horn of plenty") and the concept of freedom. The cornucopia is a symbol of abundance -- in fact, it is tied to a mythical horn which produced an inexhaustible abundance of goods.

It strikes us that, as such, the cornucopia is the perfect symbol for the opposite of the "fixed-pie" view of the world. We've written several times before about the "zero-sum" or "fixed-pie" view which believes that there is only so much wealth available in the world, and that therefore any gain by one person must come at the expense of another person. It is not hard to see how such a view of the world can lead to tyranny, or at least the restriction of freedom.

On the other hand, the cornucopia -- unlike the "fixed pie" -- is a symbol of constant increase. Those who understand that, in a free society, the efforts and contributions of some people can actually increase the size of the pie for everyone can actually see that the cornucopia is not just a mythical concept! In fact, the history of America and the blessings we consider on Thanksgiving are proof of that.

While there are always things that could be better, we hope these thoughts will add to your thoughts and conversations around the Thanksgiving table this year.

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For later posts on this same subject, see also:


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