(Editor’s note: This editorial is being reprinted from Nov. 23, 2005. Jack Ronald wrote it, imploring readers to be ”… enormously thankful simply to be alive, to have lived …” It seems appropriate this Thanksgiving, seven months after Jack’s death. We are enormously thankful simply that we had Jack in our lives. We hope this Thanksgiving that you take the time to appreciate those who mean so much in your lives and truly heed Jack’s advice.)

Where’s Charles Dickens when we need him?

The 19th century British author did a splendid job with “A Christmas Carol.”

But what 21st century America needs is “A Thanksgiving Carol.”

It wouldn’t star Scrooge, that old skinflint, but instead would feature an all-too-typical middle American with a profound sense of victimhood.

You know the sort of person we’re talking about, the kind who’s always moaning about how bad things are, who tends to blame everyone but himself for his shortcomings, who has finely tuned his sense of perpetual grievance.

Unlike Scrooge, who counted every farthing and could tell you exactly how much he was worth, this character doesn’t count much of anything. He’s much more interested in what he doesn’t have — and what his neighbors have — than his own blessings.

Instead of three ghosts, this fable could get by with one. Maybe it could take the shape of a pilgrim, or perhaps even a turkey.

Its charge would be to take this glass-half-empty character by the scruff of the neck, whisk him supernaturally to a place of greater perspective, and set him down to do some accounting.

Our Thanksgiving ghost would remind the unappreciative lout how lucky he is. Lucky to be living in this country, lucky that his home and his community have escaped the ravages of war.

The ghost would point out to him the famine, the brutality, and the pestilence endured by huge chunks of humanity each day.

The ghost would talk to him about freedom, his ability to speak his mind, express his opinions, and even sound off about his gripes.

The ghost could talk to him about creativity, the marvels of the human mind.

Zooming out into space, the Thanksgiving ghost could point to the blackness of dead and inhospitable planets, dying stars, and mysteries beyond comprehension.

Then the Thanksgiving ghost could gesture at earth and its infinite bounty and rich tapestry of nature.

If that doesn’t make you feel blessed, the Thanksgiving ghost would say, if that doesn’t make you enormously thankful simply to be alive, to have lived, then you are beyond the help Thanksgiving Day can offer.

In our version, with all apologies to Dickens, the ungrateful lout would wake up tomorrow morning a new person, who has added to his blessings a new sense of perspective and appreciation for all that we so shamelessly take for granted .

Enjoy each day. — J.R.