For most of us, Thanksgiving is a time when we gather with family and eat a lot. Maybe there’s football, too. There might even be a brief moment, as we start eating, when we reflect on what we have to be thankful for in our lives.
It’s easy to forget those things throughout the rest of the year. We in the United States are very fortunate to be here, to live in a country where an enormous economic meltdown, as painful as it has been, didn’t lead to war or massive famine. Where government deadlock didn’t lead to a military coup or a complete loss of order. Where most of us can count on having electricity and water whenever we want it. There are lots of places in the world that don’t have any of these securities.
But you don’t have to be so dramatic about it. There are lots of people right here who don’t have a basic education. Who don’t have food security. Who don’t have a reliable place to sleep at night. Who suffer from domestic violence. Most of us don’t have to deal with these concerns.
But you don’t have to be so dramatic about it. There are lots of people this holiday season who will be mourning the loss of loved ones. Who will mourn the loss of relationships due to divorce or other circumstances. Who are overseas and can’t get home. Most of us are fortunate not to have these burdens.
But you don’t have to be so dramatic about it. Lots of people this holiday season won’t get awesome presents. They won’t get expensive wine with their meals, or a new car. They may not even get that grande chai three-pump-skim milk-lite water-no foam-extra hot latte from Starbucks, because it costs too much.
This year, it’s important to me to see not just the big things, but also the little things that make me so fortunate. The little ones add up to a pretty great life. I’m going to keep those things in mind when I have the urge to complain.
Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.