Many people will post about being thankful for family, friends, and blessings this season. I am VERY thankful for those things, but my mind wanders to a different viewpoint that I want to share.
When have we (myself included) quit being thankful for the basic items in life that most of us take for granted on a daily basis? If you have never “done without” and lived in difficult situations, you may not have ever shared this viewpoint. Do you realize the majority of the (what society calls) poor people living in the United States live better than the majority of people in other parts of the world?
I believe a feeling of entitlement has become the norm in our society. We work hard, therefore we should have everything we dream for and want. Life should be fair (and easy). Everyone should win. If I can’t afford it (or if I don’t manage my money properly), someone else should give it to me. The list goes on and on…. It’s nonsense, but it has become ever-present in our culture. Be thankful for what you have and work for your desires.
I am thankful for my wife, children, family, job, and blessings that have been bestowed upon me. Regardless of your lifestyle, income, or social status – if you are reading this here are a few things I want you to ponder when you give thanks:
Be thankful for being safe. I’m not talking about driving through a scary part of town – I’m talking about being safe in your home. We do not have active military combat in our streets with the threat of rockets, missiles, or tanks destroying our homes. In many parts of the world having to leave everything you have in order to save your life is a real possibility. Regarding being safe – ignore your opinion of the military or military actions and be thankful for the people who are away from their family giving you the freedom and opportunity to sit down with yours.
Be thankful we can have different opinions. Without going off on a tangent, we can have different political, religious, or cultural opinions without breaking the law or killing each other. In parts of the world this is illegal and can result in long prison times up to and including execution. Think about that for a minute….
Be thankful for clean and safe drinking water. We take hot showers or baths every day, swim and wash our cars but in many parts of the world the water they drink is killing them. Literally. Because there is no other option – they must drink whatever water is available regardless of the cleanliness/purity.
Be thankful for food. I’m not referring to the Thanksgiving spread many of us will enjoy this week, but just having food to eat. In the United States people are starving because they can’t afford to buy food and in other parts of the world there is actually nothing to eat. If you have never been truly hungry you don’t realize just how much we take eating any time we want for granted.
Be thankful for living in this country (the United States or your country). I know it’s not perfect, but we do have many things going for us besides just the things listed above. We have reliable electricity, modern roads, and the ability to travel when/where we have the desire and means to travel without restriction. We are limited only by desire, skill, ability, and opportunity.
I encourage you to put down your cell phone (or computer) on Thanksgiving Day and spend quality time with the ones you love. You won’t die – I promise. Facebook, email, text, and all of the other applications will be there when you pick it up that evening.
I encourage you to go to the individual(s) that have helped you or supported you in your journey and thank them in person if at all possible. Tell them how much they mean to you and thank them for what they have done.
Take the time to help those as you are able. Share some of the things you have with those that have not. And be thankful that you have the means to help others with your time, money, or resources.
Be thankful. For everything.