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Cafe Society to discuss “What we have to be thankful for”

By Staff | May 27, 2016

The next session of the Cafe Society on May 31, in order to provide some balance and offset the prevailing negative impact of the current election, will examine some of the good things that Americans may be overlooking.

Certainly many positive things have been accomplished in the early years of this new 21st Century and we should not take them for granted. These informal weekly discussions are held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. every Tuesday morning, usually in the Rumsey Room of the Shepherd University Student Center. However after this May 31st session, they will move to Room 256 of the Scarborough Library for the June 7, 14 and 21 discussions while the university is preparing for the fall semester. Pre-registration is not required and there are no charges.

Caf facilitator Mike Austin commented, “Human nature being what it is, it always seems easier to be critical and tear something down, rather than to be positive and constructive. Of course, we all realize that from the perspective of our news media, good news isn’t very “newsworthy” and usually gets relegated to the back pages, or ends up on the cutting room floor. But there is no reason why we have to buy into the prevailing cynicism and sarcasm. We are very lucky to be Americans living in this comparatively wealthy country and we should savor every aspect of it.

“President Roosevelt’s “Four Freedoms Speech” comes to mind as well as the powerful images conjured up by Norman Rockwell. We are still genuinely able to exercise our freedom of speech, freedom of worship, freedom from want, and freedom from fear. And we should remember that these were goals stated in the early stages of World War II and were intended for all peoples of the World, not just us.”

He further stated, “While not perfect, we do have economic opportunity, reasonably low unemployment, social security and general access to health care. There is need for constant sustained effort to take corrective action where needed, and to adjust to changing social mores and demographics. We are a nation of over 320 million proud people who enjoy a comparatively clean environment, safe drinking water, modern infrastructure, good schools, and cultural diversity. There is always room for improvements and keeping abreast of rapidly evolving technology takes a concerted effort, but those challenges are more easily met when people enjoy their work and have self-confidence. Even a little fun now and then and a smile on your face wouldn’t hurt.”

To provide suggestions for future topics or more information, contact Mike Austin at 304-876-0598 or michael.austin@frontiernet.net.