On this Thanksgiving, I thought it would be appropriate to reflect (again) on some of the things in my life that I am thankful to have. I (like most of us, I would imagine) sometimes forget that, in spite of the troubles I seem to have with money, work, and various family members, that I lead a life that would is the envy of billions of people around the world. (To say nothing of all the people in past generations, where even royalty didn’t have access to the sorts of technology I use on a daily basis.)
With all that in mind, here are a few things I am thankful this holiday season:
1) My Life and My Health: I suppose I should begin by being thankful that I am alive, and that I am alive at a time when a near-sighted, largely-uncoordinated, allergy-prone man would not become saber-tooth tiger food on his first hunting trip (and for that matter, doesn’t have to hunt everyday just to survive). I’m also glad that my health is relatively high; the aforementioned allergies and eye troubles are nothing compared to some of the afflictions suffered by people throughout the world. I can look forward to a life-span that would sound like science fiction to people even a few generations ago, and will likely be able to enjoy much of that lifespan while being healthy, happy, and in full control of my body and mind. For that, I am thankful.
2) My Family: It would impossible to list the things I am thankful for this holiday season without including my family. From my endlessly supportive mother to my sweet sisters (well, sweet most of the time) to the large numbers of my extended family members who make my family gatherings entertaining, I am glad that I have such a support network to fall back on. For all of them, I am thankful.
3) My Friends: I never had too many friends when I was growing up; I was always shy, perhaps too much so, and had trouble connecting with people. Now, though, I’ve gotten much better at making those connections (being able to do so through the internet does help me, perhaps because it makes things more impersonal as so many commentators lament). My friends, from the people I’ve gotten to know through my blog here to the new friends I’ve been making in graduate school, all help to make me happier and generally bring a smile to my face. For all of them (and all of you), I am thankful.
4) My Education: As I just mentioned, I have been attending graduate school (as anyone who’s read my blog in the past six months or so knows all too well). The opportunities that have been opened because of the education I’ve gotten in the past, and the opportunities that will (hopefully) open when I have a Master’s degree, all are possible because of the educational opportunities I have and those I will continue to have. I’ve been lucky enough to have great instructors throughout my life, from when I was too young to read all the way to my current grad school instructors. For all of my education, from preschool to grad school, I am thankful.
5) For the World: Lastly (well, far from the last thing I am thankful for, but the last I shall share here), I am thankful for this whole wide world of ours. It is far from perfect, and I believe with all my heart that part of God’s plan for all of us is to make the world a little better after we leave this life than it was when we came into it. But this world of ours, with all its sights, sounds and people, is more than the greatest writers and poets of all time could have created. For the whole wide world, I am most thankful.