Keep your eyes open to your mercies. The man who forgets to be thankful has fallen asleep in life.”
– Robert Louis Stevenson
On this Thanksgiving Day, we first and foremost want to thank you, our readers, for continuing to believe in our mission. That mission – to tell stories and keep you informed – is as old as humanity itself, but has encountered unprecedented challenges throughout this millennium that were unheard of in prior decades. Your support means the world to us, quite literally, as we would cease to exist without you.
We are thankful to be able to fill a role that is so sorely needed in today’s world of distractions, instant gratification and the crushing pace of the 24-hour news cycle. We are able to follow stories as they develop in real time, without forcing narratives upon them prematurely. When other news outlets seek to condense a complex issue into a two-minute package, often omitting important information, we can explore the topic in depth and provide proper context, and update that story as appropriate.
We are thankful to be in a position where we have not had to compromise our journalistic integrity in order to sell papers or get clicks. It is a point of pride that we do not take for granted and do not take lightly. If you can’t trust your hometown paper to deliver an honest interpretation of events, we are in a dangerous place in society.
We’d also like to thank the entire Warwick community. You are the business owners, the educators, the administrators and the hardworking laborers; the rising Eagle Scouts, the coaches and the players. You are the threads that hold this community’s fabric together, woven into a kaleidoscopic display of colors, skills and interests. You make this job worth doing – because you are the stories your fellow community members want to hear, and what we strive to tell. You make our lives interesting, without question.
We are thankful for the amazing feats of generosity that we get to witness year in and year out from this community. From assembling baskets of food for Thanksgiving, to wrapping thousands of presents for those who may not have anything to unwrap on Christmas morning or on other celebratory holidays, to those who simply donate their time, energy or money to the various institutes of goodwill throughout the city. You embody the power of humans to rise above selfish tendencies and make the world around you brighter – and we thank you for that gift.
We are thankful for all who contribute to the 158 food pantries throughout the state and to the Rhode Island Community Food Bank, whose sole mission is to feed people who have trouble getting enough food – the most simplistic yet vital need that we too often take for granted.
The food bank report that was highlighted in this edition’s front-page story was not intended to put a damper on holiday cheer, but rather to keep in perspective what we have that many others do not – it is a story that should further crystallize the notion of what it means to enjoy simple, yet so important privileges, and to remain humbled by and thankful for them.
At the same time, we hope the article inspires you to act in a way that is positively beneficial to others – as we often hope when showcasing aspects of society that aren’t neat, tidy and nice. Donate some unneeded excess to your local food pantry – need is the highest from this point and through the New Year – or donate some of the money you would normally put away into savings if you have a sufficient rainy-day fund already established. After all, some people are currently going through terrible storms without that safety net.
To be thankful is to recognize that you have things to be grateful for – things that may not be guaranteed. This can be money, a job, a family, possessions or even just your health. It should be all of our shared missions to be sure everyone has at least something to be thankful for this holiday season.