In what has become a highly fractured political climate, it’s perhaps hard to find someone whom everyone likes, appreciates and didn’t seem to ever be on a political side, but seemed to be on the side of all Americans, attempting to enrich and uplift all with the simple joy of his show, Jeopardy.
That of course was Alex Trebek, a man universally loved and appreciated for all the years he entertained America.
Trebek died on November 8 after a long battle with pancreatic cancer, which he fought with dignity and grace. Trebek was 80. But even at 80, he seemed as infectious as a youth, still full of the joy of his job and the pure appreciation of that interaction with America each time he was able to do his work.
Jeopardy announced a temporary replacement, Ken Jennings, one of the game’s greatest players. But it’s safe to say that no one can really wear the mantle of Trebek. Jennings is already under some fire for questionable prior tweets. It’s also clear that he’s a very different kind of personality than Trebek and not in a good way.
But Trebek is still spreading his positivity even after his death.
Prior to his death, he recorded a Thanksgiving message that the show has now played as he had originally intended.
High on our list of things to be thankful for this year: Alex's Thanksgiving message from today's show. We hope you have a safe and happy Thanksgiving! pic.twitter.com/8OlpkSGi9r
— Jeopardy! (@Jeopardy) November 26, 2020
In the 20-second clip, the beloved television icon reminds Americans to hold on to their faith during what is an unprecedented time given the coronavirus pandemic.
Trebek says: “Happy Thanksgiving ladies and gentleman. You know, in spite of what America and the rest of the world is experiencing right now, there are many reasons to be thankful. There are more and more people extending helpful hands to do a kindness to their neighbors, and that’s a good thing.”
“Keep the faith, we’re going to get through all of this, and we will be a better society because of it,” Trebek’s posthumous message concludes.
There is no doubt it’s hard to see the positives this year with so much that is critical so up in the air, with even Americans seemingly willing to give up their freedoms for the illusion of “safety.” Indeed, maybe we will be a “better society for it” if people come to understand how important those freedoms are and that they should not be given up so easily. If we understand what we have to be thankful for in our history as Americans. If we are willing to fight for what we say we believe in and not knuckle under to those who would take it from us. If we are willing to extend hands honestly as Trebek truly was to make things better.