The following is a transcript from the Pro America Report.
Welcome, welcome. Welcome. It’s Ed Martin here on the Pro America Report. Great to be together in this Thanksgiving week. So much going on and I I want to open and I want to spend this time talking about things to be thankful for and things that we all should be aware of and be thankful for. Even in the midst of so much chaos.
But let me first tell you a quick story on this and be, by the way, encourage you proamericareport.com go there and sign up for the emails there. Also. Of course. PhyllisSchlafly.com we we have so much archive there, including great the the late Phyllis Schlafly was great on these holidays. What we’re going to talk about for a few moments today. She would write about and write commentaries, and they’d be extraordinarily effective.
So first, let me tell you a quick story I went to a meeting. A few days ago, I guess it was 3 days ago. I can’t really remember which day of the week it was and I forgot my phone and I and I forgot my phone at the office and I walked to this meeting. It took me about 25 minutes to get there. I got about 5 minutes away from the meeting and the meeting was starting in about 10 minutes. I was 5 minutes early and and I I. Realized I didn’t have my phone. And I thought to myself, what do I do now? I Mean I I couldn’t go back. I couldn’t be late to the meeting and so I just lived with it. First of all, I I joked later when I was telling the story that I walked 20 to 25 minutes without having my phone, which is, you know, surprising enough. I didn’t even notice. But I went to the meeting. And then after the meeting, I had a second meeting and and I didn’t have enough time to go back to the office. So effectively I had About four hours. Where I was without my phone completely and and there was nothing I could do. There was no place where I could go in these meetings to sort of jump on somebody else’s computer and, you know, text my colleagues at the Phyllis Schlafly Eagles or. E-mail somebody I just had to live with it and in between, as I mentioned, these two meetings, the second one was pretty short.
I had about 90 minutes of just sitting there doing nothing. Thinking.
Ended up taking out my a pen in my pocket from the meeting I was in making a list of things that I hadn’t been thinking about that I hadn’t been paying attention to, and I know this is gonna sound so basic and I and I, I mean, I realize that. And I know lots of people say this all the time, but the first thing that you have to do, we have to do or I’ll start with me, that I have to do to understand. What to be thankful for Is to turn off the machines. Turn off the laptops and the and the and the the smartphones or the tablets or whatever you were into and and and find a way to to get real time away. And it’s almost like almost like learning to breathe again you anyway, everyone knows this. I know it’s been talked about, but I’m just encouraging you as a as a as a perspective on being thankful because that when I sat there again, this would have been Monday of the of this week of the Thanksgiving week. I sat there and I started to make a list of things to be thankful for. And I.
And I started to make a list and I said first, people. And so I made a list of people that I’m thankful for, and the obvious ones are my wife and my children and my in laws and my own parents. And. And I made that list, you know, and I and my. Closest friends but. I I started to grow the list. To include people at various points in my life that I hadn’t even thought of in a long time – in my grammar school, where I went to grammar school, there was a A we called it gym. At the time, I think they call it phys ed. I don’t know what they call. You know, the the the gym teacher and he was he was a wonderfully kind guy. And I and I. I and I worked my way forward. In my own life and thinking of people to be thankful for and to be thankful towards. Now, if you’re a religious type, I’ll get to that in a minute. You should be I I was I I shifted halfway through this experience and I I made it about a prayer for each of these people. So when I got to my high school and I and I got to the freshman basketball coach Who was very kind to me. I I I prayed for him, I prayed and and a prayer of Thanksgiving. And so I started with people, OK. And I and I worked through my life, and I probably spent only 30 minutes, 45 minutes maybe of that time thinking about people.
Then I I thought you know what? I should be grateful for is my faith and the experience I had early in my life of people who pointed me towards the Lord and drew me towards taught me there. And I went backwards and again in time and thought of the moments there was a moment in my life that I’ve talked about somewhat frequently in my early 20s when I was. Living in Indonesia. And I had nothing except a Bible, a study Bible, which I had everything, of course. But I had a study Bible that had been given to me when I went abroad to Indonesia, Muslim country. And it was a Good Friday. It was right before Easter, and it would have been 1993. And I was alone. Homesick. I was doing this research project. It wasn’t really working. I I was. I felt like everything was a mess. And I had nowhere to go. There was no church community where I was living, that I could go to. There probably was a church. For whatever reason, I felt like I couldn’t go to the church. And so I had no place to go. Little tiny village in Indonesia. I think it was on Sulawesi, which is where I was Traveling at the time. And I had this extraordinary experience of having only that study Bible and realizing that’s all I needed, that I had the Lord and I had his Word. And I had this incredible connection. And. And although I miss my faith, community and my church and and all that, this was that at the at its core, I was a son of God and that it was extraordinary what happened. And so it was, I get and what I thought About being thankful for is who gave me that Bible? Who gave me that Bible that that was with me and I carried it all in my backpack all over Indonesia, and it was my parents. My parents gave me that Bible. I think when I Graduated from high school, or College, but I’m not sure when they. Could give it. To me earlier, but I had it in a in a special carrying case so that it was in the backpack. It was always packed in the very bottom, it was a big Bible and packed in the very bottom of the backpack. In this padded case. And so my point is, and then went through faith community. So people First, then faith community.
And then I went through events in my life and that, key events that happened, birth of my children, death of my grandfather was a big thing, sort of big events that I could could think of that were changing in my life. One of them, which was, you know, when you’re. A young person. Young boy, you don’t know the difference between what’s Monumental in your own life and what’s monumental in in life, but one of them was when I was cut from the baseball. Team, you know, and I was, I think a sophomore, junior, junior in high school. Just mind my. I can picture it now. My mind and heartbroken. Right. Couldn’t believe it. But so I went back and I thought through all these experiences, different moments, moments of of success, moments of failure. One time when I really failed in a professional setting as a as I was. Working as a. Lawyer really didn’t just didn’t succeed. Brutally so. I I technically wasn’t fired, but I should have been. I was more moved along in, in my work. But anyway, so people my faith journey and then events. OK and. Those 3 categories. This gave me this incredible ability to feel gratitude, not just in my head, not even just in my heart. But in all of who I was and one of the things that I finished that Experience with, this is like I told you. About two hours 2. 2 1/2 hours of four hours block. But in the middle of two meetings I had about two hours of maybe 90 minutes at one point, and then a brief call and then a brief meeting, and then we would step out again. So. And the the dynamic, when I finished this and I I had This overwhelming sense of Gratitude, of privilege of you know, and I haven’t. Not everything’s gone. As well as I’d like in my life or in my in my, you know, family and and certainly. In my extended Family and I wish I always wish things could be different, but I had this extraordinary. Gratitude.
And then I was drawn to this. America makes it so possible, so extraordinary for us to have this freedom, the freedom of the events that I described, the freedom of the people that I described, that the, the, the, the sense of what life can be about. You can have that anywhere. If you read Solzhenitsyn and people that were behind the Soviet in the Soviet gulags, and all you can have true freedom if you read the some of the extraordinary writing out of the Holocaust era of people who were either. In imprisoned and then escaped or survived, or some who were imprisoned and wrote about or spoke about it and and were and were killed, and and their message carried out.
You can you can have freedom with the Lord anywhere you are. That’s the beauty of of that. I’ll give one quick experience there. I was doing an interview in 2010, I think. And I was saying how Obamacare is so bad for people because not only is it not going to be good care, but it’s it’s taking away from people in lots of ways. I was saying it was limiting the approach Obama especially broadly, but Obamacare of people to having faith and the Lord becoming, Religious liberty. Religious freedom. And I said, you know, and that’s blocking people from salvation. And I got a call after I was done the thing and done the interview. And the person on the other end of the line on my cell phone was someone I knew very well. And and she said to me, you’re wrong. And I said, what do you mean I’m wrong? She said the Lord can cut through a a 20 feet of concrete. If you’re in a cell, can cut through, Obamacare, anything else, can do what he wants. And that’s true. But but practically, when you look at what America has allowed us to do and you look at the words of of George Washington on Thanksgiving, when you look at the history, if you haven’t read Rush Limbaugh’s famous famous description of. Of the the. Truth of Thanksgiving, the real first Thanksgiving extraordinary right now available online. David Limbaugh. Think or or maybe rush Rush Limbaugh’s widow posted it. He had gone back and researched it. It’s amazing. So when you read about what makes us special as a nation, it’s so powerful. It’s so powerful. But take a break. Take the time. Maybe use the framework I did. People, faith journey and then events in your life. Maybe that works for you. Maybe something else. But but make Thanksgiving part of what you’re doing in a specific way, not just a big turkey dinner.
Alright, we got a break break, I’m running out of time, it’s Ed Martin here in the Pro America Report. We’ll be right back.