Thanksgiving means living with purpose

It is not known who started it, but there was a blog circulating this past week that read, “It is not happy people who are thankful; it is thankful people who are happy.”

As we consider taking a one-day break for Thanksgiving, those words prompt us to realize that genuine thankfulness is not a passive event. Rather, it is an active response to the fruits of our labors.

Happiness means coming into favorable circumstances. It is an appropriate emotion in specific situations, but happiness is passive. Something happens to an individual to make that person happy.

Being thankful implies an expression of gratitude for something specifically received or accomplished. The word and experience requires personal action that prompts a positive result.

An investment of time and energy are needed at some point to experience genuine thankfulness. It requires the establishment, recognition and accomplishment of priorities.

On Saturday, a minority of registered voters in the Tri-parish region participated in runoff elections. Regardless of the results, those that cast ballots can be thankful for the opportunity to contribute to a system where the public has a say in the selection of government leaders.

During the past year, regional industries refused to let natural and manmade challenges left over from previous years hold them back from moving forward in their efforts.

While the rest of the country held a national average unemployment level of 9 percent in November, the unemployment level in Terrebonne Parish alone was registered at 4.7 percent. Per capita income for the region nearly doubled during the past decade.

With the completion of 2011 in sight, the Houma-Thibodaux metropolitan statistical area has seen stabilization in real estate activity with gains of up to 3.5 percent during the past year. This piece of data stands in contrast to states where foreclosure remains high among homeowners.

By this time in December, an elevated portion of La. Highway 1 in Lafourche Parish will offer overland transport opportunities to compliment marine transport from Port Fourchon. And St. Mary Parish has been approved for state bonds to complete levee and construction projects.

Happiness often just happens as an element of chance. Thankfulness requires personal investment.

Accomplishments cannot be made without individual participation on the parts of many people. It is for those people and their actions that we are thankful.