This week, families across America will gather to celebrate their blessings in the tradition of Thanksgiving. It has become a day of televised parades, nonstop football games, and indulgent overeating. But it wasn't always a day of gluttony and gridiron. It started with a simple and prayerful observance of our forefathers gathering to offer their profound thanks to god who had given them strength to survive in their very challenging transition to life in a new world.

This year, instead of complaints about traffic, delayed flights, burnt turkeys, and your relatives outstaying their welcome, take a deep breath, look around, and start counting your reasons to be thankful.

This past July, I traveled to Rwanda with the ONE Campaign on a bipartisan trip that included Cindy McCain, former Senators Tom Daschle and Bill Frist, former Congressman John Kasich, and now leader of the Obama transition team, John Podesta.

Congressman Kasich, John Podesta, and I visited in the homes of some Rwandan families. They didn't have to worry about a high electric bill because there wasn't electricity. Water was obtained by walking several miles with a five-gallon plastic jug to a community pump and carrying it back on the shoulder, so their wasn't a water bill. And they didn't care about the price of gasoline because they would probably never own a car.

As we left, we all said, we don't have any problems. Life is good. And we have a lot to be thankful for. If you live in this great country, you do have a lot to be thankful for.

Enjoy the parades, the games, and the good food. But take a moment to give god a thank you too!

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