The Common Good

A Time for Giving Thanks

It is a time to be thankful, even in the midst of the economic crisis all around the world. The election showed that our country is better than some of us thought it was. The electorate voted to turn the page on many things, and to choose hope over fear.

I am in England for a family visit -- my wife, Joy, being British. And I have been amazed at how hopeful people are here about a U.S. election. Even among ordinary people, something has connected. I have been meeting with both church and political leaders this week who also feel a moment of opportunity. On Nov. 4, there was dancing in the streets, not only in my inner-city D.C. neighborhood, but in London as well. There is now a chance for the U.S. to change its image in the world.

It's been a long, hard year for many of us. And the sense of relief and even joy is still slowly settling in. We have no utopian illusions, no faith in political messiahs, but we still see a transformational moment in this election -- especially for a new generation. So despite the falling financial markets and the problems focused on during this endless political campaign still unsolved, let us take this Thanksgiving holiday to truly give thanks for the hope that so many now feel in our country and around the world. Let us thank God for new beginnings. And let us pray for better days ahead.

And then on Monday, let us go back to work, because there is much work to be done. We haven't yet seen the change that we need, but we now have the opportunity to make that change -- which depends not just on a new president, but on each and every one of us. People of faith are often the ones turned to for translating hopes into realities. Let us rest well this holiday, for the work of real change is just ahead.

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