November 24, 2017

Column: Rid the pettiness, mute the distractions, it’s Thanksgiving

Calling 2016 the worst year ever is rashly hyperbolic. Yet people who say so actually mean it.

But how do you know 2016 is the worst year ever? No one has ever lived 2,016 years to make such a claim. Sure, 2016 hasn’t been great, but I can guarantee it isn’t the worst year ever.

And, yeah, it’s been a turbulent 10-and-a-half months for America, traumatized by police shootings, a plethora of injustices, raucous riots and a forgettably unforgettable presidential election. But then again, 2016 is still not the worst year ever.

It’s perfectly normal to worry, and sometimes bicker, about our contorted and gashed America. Because we, the American people, know we’re capable of more, and not because we’re petty nitpickers.

But today is not the day to worry, bicker, nitpick, riot, protest or show ignorance in anyway. And don’t ever call it Turkey Day. It’s Thanksgiving, a day of giving thanks and spending time with family.

To put it bluntly, it’d be a cryin’ shame if you’d rather gloat or whine about the presidential election than have an intimate conversation with a family member. And if you would, my condolences go to you for failing to see the big picture.

If you shun family members just because they have different political beliefs than you, that’s no longer a cryin’ shame — that’s a damn shame.

In case you haven’t gotten the memo, don’t let the events over the past 11 months spoil today’s adorned moment. Be thankful.

If you don’t know where to start, hold your family to the highest value. Not everyone can say they have a family, crazy enough.

Be even more appreciative if you have parents and/or siblings. A good friend of mine who’s only a year younger than me no longer has a mom or dad to share a Thanksgiving meal with.

As for me, I’m thankful for a lot.

I’m thankful for Jesus Christ dying on the cross so we, the ones who accept his gift, can prosper in eternity forever. And it’s OK if you’re not religious. Jesus was never religious either. He was a man, not a religion, who was crucified on the cross so we can make a choice to accept His invitation or not. The choice is ours. I’ve said yes, which is why I’m thankful.

I’m thankful for family and the food on the table. I’m thankful for the First amendment, or there would be no days like today. I’d also be out of a job, most likely.

I’m thankful for everyone who supports Maryland Sports Access. There would be none of this without you. I’m thankful for everyone who believes in me as a person as a journalist. Not long ago, I was a C-average merit English student, and to have the support from cherished mentors means more than words could ever express.

And, I’m thankful for sports and the ruthless Cowboys-Redskins rivalry (#HTTR).

Today is Thanksgiving. A day of giving thanks and counting blessings rather than bickering and whining about worldly issues.

Like Christmas isn’t about the presents, Thanksgiving isn’t about the turkey.

Who cares about inane social media posts and what Donald Trump is doing to prepare for presidency. Today is something bigger. Pen a friend. Strike a conversation. Stuff your plate with turkey and mashed potatoes. Simply, give thanks.

About Kyle McFadden 350 Articles

Kyle McFadden is a graduate from Linganore High School’s Class of 2014, a sports junkie and general news-hound. He got his start as a sports writer in January 2014 for Linganore’s student-run newspaper The Lance, where he wrote 13 articles.

McFadden then launched his own blog in October 2014 called The Beltway Dispatch covering collegiate, local high school and professional sports. Formally known as The Beltway Dispatch, McFadden and Evan Engelhard merged respective platforms in June 2015 to make what is now Maryland Sports Access.

With baseball, basketball and golf experience, McFadden brings ample knowledge to the helm of MSA. McFadden covers a wide variety of sports in football, baseball, basketball, golf, hockey, lacrosse, soccer and specializes in the collegiate and high school levels.

McFadden volunteers his time at Damascus Road Community Church — serving as a mentor to the youth, basketball coach at the varsity and junior varsity levels, and leads a small group of high school sophomores every Wednesday night.

Although he’s only been around journalism since January 2014, he’s a high school sports reporter for The Baltimore Sun and freelancer for The Frederick News-Post.

McFadden’s work has also appeared in DMV newspapers The Aegis, The Capital Gazette, The Daily Times (Delmarva Now), The Hometown Observer, Howard County Times, Germantown Pulse and The Towson Times. He’s also won two Mike Powell Excellence in Journalism awards and has appeared on The Best of SNO, which showcases top student work of high school and college journalists.

McFadden currently studies at Frederick Community College and plans to transfer to the University of Maryland in the fall of 2018 to work on a bachelor’s degree in journalism with aspirations to be a national college basketball writer.

Contact: Twitter

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