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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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Message of Thanksgiving....

Message of Thanksgiving

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, what do we have to be thankful for in these tough times of economic depression? The stock market is on a roller-coaster and consumer confidences seem to be at a low previously not experienced.

Homes are being repossessed every day. We live in dread of what might happen next. Will we have a job next year or even next week? Will we lose our retirement pensions? Can we keep our heads above water economically? Where will it all end?

These are the worst of times, we are told, since the Great Depression. We have heard of the Great Depression, how people lost fortunes in the stock market, jumped out of windows, or ended up on skid row.

It has been said that a recession is when other people are losing jobs, homes, and savings, and a depression is when it is happening to you. In spite of the turbulence, most of us are probably still
relatively untouched.

As prices become lower, people are afraid to spend, to let go of what they have in case things become worse. We put off buying that new car or expensive camera. Ironically, lack of consumer confidence and spending forces conditions to get even worse.

Do we still have much to be thankful for, even in the worst of times?

Being healthy is worth more than any amount of money. I've been going though a small personal crisis with a painful shoulder problem. Funny how important health becomes when you find you can't
use your right arm. But regardless of how limiting it may be, others are worse off. I'm blessed to have only a minor ailment and not a long-term disability.

People who own their home and are financial stable have much to be thankful for. We may lose interest on savings, but think of those who have no home or savings to lose.

It has always been my philosophy to live within or below my means instead of overextending myself. Big homes are tempting, but big house payments are not. I am happy with my small and secure bungalow and can live without the fancy dream house.

We have always had it good compared to generations of the past that suffered through the Depression and the two World Wars. We only know life in the good times; we have not been conditioned to withstand the bad times.

Perhaps it is time to remember how to survive in times of adversity.

In the South, we don't know how to deal with snow because we so seldom have it. When it gets too cold, our pipes freeze because our homes are not insulated to withstand the cold. Our cars skid on the icy roads because we have never learned to drive when it is slick. Yet, our northern cousins deal with such conditions all the time, so we know it is possible to live and thrive in adverse weather.

When I was in New Orleans last summer, I talked to many people who had lost everything to Katrina. What they missed most was not their lost possessions but their lost family members, pets, lifestyle, and all that was familiar to them.

We hear over and over that the most important things are not possessions, money, or success, but the non-material things, such as, family, friendship and love. Maybe we have to experience it
personally to believe it.

We can look at bad times as an opportunity to improve, to become stronger. We can learn to be less extravagant, to live with less, to make the most of the things and the opportunities we have and to be satisfied with less.

In the South we have an economic tradition called learning to "make do."

Yes, I know it is easier to appreciate diversity when you are not facing bankruptcy or financial ruin. But everything is temporary. Bad times pass. It is only by experiencing the bad times that we can
fully appreciate the good times.

In our times of distress let us appreciate what we have, give thanks for our blessings, and learn to look up.

Copyright 2008 Sheila Moss

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