Log in

Commentary: New Year, New Day


Front-row parking at the grocery store, stopping at the gas station and finding my cellphone on the tailgate of my truck or catching the biggest trout at fish camp opening day — if you ask my wife or any of my buddies, I'm a pretty lucky guy.

I'm going to let you in on a little secret ... it isn't luck, it is perspective. A lot of people would be frustrated about losing their phone or getting a fishing hook ran through their hand. Rest assured, that happens to me too. I just think it's more important to be thankful for the good things that happen every day. 

I wanted to share with you some of the good things we all should be thankful for as we start 2024:

1. We live in the best country in the world. It isn't perfect now and wasn't perfect in 1776 either. There is no shame in trying to make the U.S. better, and every one of us should strive to do so, but I'll take raising my family here over anywhere else in the world. 

2. Our political process works. We get to go to the ballot booth and help determine who is running our government. You can listen to the news talking about our flawed election system, hanging chads, stolen ballot boxes and dogs registering to vote, but don't forget we don't have a dictator, king or general making decisions without accountability. That's pretty dang cool. 

3. Your lights come on when you flip the switch. This may sound trivial, and I more than anyone take this daily task for granted. But just a couple of years ago our friends in Texas were without power for weeks — not days, weeks. Your Missouri electric cooperatives have the foresight and dedication to make sure those kilowatts are there when you need them the most. 

4. My family is healthy and happy. We have the best health care options and services in the world. This past December marked one year since my son, Max, was in the hospital fighting a rare disease. Thanks to the amazing doctors, nurses and technology, he is a happy and healthy 10-year-old. 

5. Status quo is not acceptable. Our country was founded on the belief we can do things better. Your electric co-ops believe this when it comes to serving you. Just think about the advancements in electric vehicles, broadband technology and smart meters. In one generation, we have gone from homes having a single light bulb and plug-in to ones full of computers and doorbells with video cameras. 

As you start this new year, I hope you take a minute to remember just how lucky you are. Oh, and by the way, our Mizzou football team is ranked in the Top 10!

Caleb Jones is the executive vice president and CEO of the Association of Missouri Electric Cooperatives in Jefferson City. He is a member of Boone Electric Cooperative.