Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving...Uniquely American

Thanksgiving is of course a unique American Holiday. The thing that amazes me about it the most is that our culture and society allow us to have such a holiday. Most everyone in America has food, water, shelter, electricity, and all of the other basic necesseties of life. This is a lot more than so many people in the world have, as I saw firsthand in Iraq where people had to bathe in sewage, rely on trash and handouts for food, and live with no access to power.

So having these nice things gives us all something to be thankful for. After this, we need to recognize and appreciate these things, which is a cultural conundrum for many Americans. It is so easy to take these things for granted, to assume that somehow by being born we deserve to have safety, security, food, money, and more. Most Americans aren't thankful at all for these things 364 days a year, but we take a break from that train of thought to reflect on all of these gifts every Thanksgiving. Our ability to do that amazes and delights me.

On a personal note, some things that I am thankful for beyond these basic amenities of America:
  • Family
  • Friends
  • Katie
  • Opportunity for Education
  • Steady Work
  • Health
  • Freedom
  • Productivity
  • Books
  • Ambition
  • Sobriety
  • So much more...
And another new thing this year that I am so thankful for is the support from all of you who read this blog and show that you care. Happy Thanksgiving.