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So as I’m a very practical person, I can’t see that Thanksgiving should be that big of a deal. Why? Because as time goes by, and I get a little wiser every day, I’ve concluded that we should all be thankful for the people around us and things we have on a daily basis. If you’re even reading this right now, consider yourself priveleged, as there are many folks who don’t even have access to the internet.
If you’re like many folks out there right now, having a rough go of it, and perhaps not even knowing where your next meal is coming from, much less the next paycheck - I’m sure Thanksgiving is the farthest thing from your mind. I’ve been in your shoes, and I do sympathize, but consider all the things you could be thankful for right now, holiday or none:
1) As I stated above, you have access to the internet. You can thank Vinton Cerf and Robert Kahn. If you don’t know who they are, Google it. If you don’t know how to use Google, I don’t know how you wound up here. If you do, there are a gazillion websites out there that may give you some insight on how to improve your current situation.
2) If you can read, first of all, thank your parents or whoever raised you. They loved you enough to either teach you themselves or send you to school, so the least you can do is give them a polite thank-you. And if they sent you to school,
3) Thank a teacher for your ability to read, write, perform simple math functions, tell time on an analog clock and use a calendar, and know the difference between cities, states, and countries. If you didn’t know these things, and had to rely on someone else for the information, your 10 am flight to London tomorrow could land you in the middle of the Sahara desert at 3 pm next Tuesday.
4) Be thankful that you live in a free country. Yes, my political friends, things are changing all the time, but as for now, you can come and go and say and do as you please,thanks to all the Veterans who fought and died defending your sorry, ungrateful asses. If you’ve never personally thanked a veteran for their time in service, I highly suggest you do so. It’s a very rewarding experience.
5) If you’ve bought food at a grocery store in the last 50 years, be thankful for three things: first, that there is still enough good land left on this tired Earth to grow vegetables and care for livestock; secondly, that there are farmers and field hands with the knowledge to grow vegetables and tend livestock; and thirdly, that there are plenty of people willing to sacrifice their time with spouses and children to drive trucks and haul our groceries to those stores. Since I don’t know of very many people who are completely self-sustainable, if you eat, thank a farmer, a grocer, or a truck driver.
6) If you’ve used a toilet, a bathtub or shower, or a sink in the last 2 hours, be thankful for the ability to have running water in your home. That’s simple enough, right? There are still many places around the world, some in our own backyards, that don’t have running, or even clean, water. Because we do, we live in a healthier, more sanitary environment - and that means you get sick less often.
7) If you’ve paid a bill of any kind ever, thank the people you owe. Why? Because they trusted you to pay for a service they offered you up front. THEY trusted YOU. If you don’t want to pay them, cancel your subscription, take your car back, cut up that credit card, and cancel your internet service. Be thankful that someone gave you an opportunity to better yourself.
8) If you are healthy, you should be thankful for that. There are many thousands of people in our own country that are very, very sick, sometimes with unimaginable pain, suffering, and bills to go along with it. I can almost guarantee, if you asked any one of those people what they wished for the most, they would tell you their health. When you don’t feel well, nothing else is more important than feeling better.
9) Unless you’re running off a bicycle-powered generator or sitting in the dark, be thankful you have electricity. This is another service we take for granted on a daily basis. At one time or another we’ve all been without power, even for a couple hours. Think about the things you normally do, and then try doing them with no electricity! Almost everything runs off some kind of generated electricity, even if that means using batteries. If you’re plugged in right now, thank an electrician, and maybe even Nikola Tesla and Albert Einstein.
10) If you’re NOT addicted to ANYTHING, stand up and be thankful. I’m not just talking about drugs and alcohol, folks. I know plenty of people who are addicted to their smart phones, caffeine, cigarettes (as I puff on one), alcohol, taking a shower every day, adrenaline, using credit cards, and many other things. There’s even a show on tv now, My Strange Addiction, where people are addicted to eating laundry detergent, toilet paper, and sleeping with hair dryers. So if you don’t have any “have-to’s”, thank yourself for having the willpower to stay mentally, physically, and psychologically alert.
The moral of the story is, if you still don’t have anything or anyone to be thankful for, you are either brain-dead or a superhero. Thanksgiving is a time for us to recognize what we do have versus what we do not, and to be grateful for those people and things. We don’t need a special day to be thankful, no more than we need a national toothpick day. But if it makes you feel better to know that there’s a holiday dedicated to being grateful, then by all means celebrate, just don’t forget to celebrate the other 364 days a year as well.