Thursday, November 23, 2006

I am thankful

As it is the season of Thanksgiving, I thought it might do justice to the holiday to reflect on a few things that we can all be thankful for.

We can be thankful that we live in a land of such abundance that our tables will likely be adorned with a dressed turkey and probably some other meat dish, and there will be so many side dishes and desserts at family dinners tomorrow that we may not know all that there is. There may be more than will fit on our plate. Indeed a few of us will delight at not one but two such meals. While we invest ourselves in this annual festival of prayer, gorging, and football, there are people who will go to bed hungry in the world the same day that we fill ourselves with vastly more food (much of it made especially for the occasion) than we would normally eat. We are blessed beyond what we truly deserve.

We can be thankful that we live in a country where we are free to write and free to blog exactly what we think, feel, and believe. In China they can only see and use as much of the internet as the government allows-a practice that even Google and Yahoo have gone along with. In North Korea, they cannot see the internet as we know it-use of the media is tightly controlled. Meanwhile, in America we write away and blog away regardless of our political, religious or social views. We do so without fear that someone will beat our door down.

We can be thankful that we have endured four vote-rich and vote-close national elections in the last six years, including two extremely close, contentious, and contested Presidential elections. Yet at no time during these voting and counting exercises were there riots in the streets or troops called out to maintain order. At no time during the processes were political leaders hunted down and assassinated by the opposition, nor was the need for martial law ever realized or asked for. Instead, people protested peacefully and then accepted the outcome-ever ready to use the democratic tools at their disposal to change the result at the next election.

We can be thankful that we woke up this morning, and we have families and friends who love us, significant others who care about us, and a meaningful and worthy existence. Everyone has at least one of those things I mentioned, and if they do not have the others, they all have the last thing. I try to see the value in all people and in every life, and I am thankful there are a few others out there who do the same.



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