Tomorrow is the day Americans give thanks.
Some of us have much. Some have little. Some will sit down to a big meal with family or friends, others will be alone.
Thanksgiving is unique among American celebrations in its universality. Your religion doesn’t matter, nor do your political views or your feelings about patriotism. All that matters is that you have something to be thankful for.
I have a friend who has a job that doesn’t make her particularly happy. She has a knack for sarcasm, and will often post amusing but head-shaking stories about this job on Facebook.
Last week, she said she was working behind the counter at her job when a man asked her how she liked working there. She was all ready to make a sarcastic reply when she looked at him.
She noted his layers of unkempt clothing, the dirty and overstuffed backpack that clearly held all his possessions in the world, and realized he was homeless.
“It’s a job,” she said. “Some days are better than others, but I’m blessed to have it.”
“(Darn) right you are,” he replied.
She concluded her post with, “(Darn.) Sometimes I forget.”
It’s easy to complain about what’s wrong in our lives, what’s annoying us or getting in the way of our being completely happy. It even feels good to complain once in awhile.
But let’s not forget to give thanks for what we do have – even if it’s only someplace warm to spend the night.
I have been incredibly blessed in my life. Sometimes when I’m having a bad day I take a breath and just start listing all of the amazing things for which I am so thankful. It helps keep things in perspective.
Here are a few things I will give thanks for this year. I hope you have blessings you are thankful for as well.
• My husband and children – healthy, happy and the greatest joy in my life.
• A roof over my head, food on the table, utilities that work and a little left over.
• The ability to go to church, go to work and speak my mind without fearing the consequences.
• Friends I don’t see or talk to nearly enough, who are always willing to pick up right where we left off, no matter how long ago that was.
• Police officers, firefighters, the military and all those who take seriously the responsibility of keeping the rest of us safe.
• My education, from learning to read on up.
• A job I love to do.
• The Internet. Despite its dark side – and that is huge – it offers me information, recreation and a way to maintain long-distance friendships that would likely have faded away without it.
• My parents and all the mentors who pushed me, however I resisted, to give a little more.
• You, my readers. No, I really mean it. In the first place, without you I’d be out of a job. In the second place, when you reach out to me to tell me something I wrote touched you in some way, you help me to believe that what I do every day matters. And that belief can get a person through a lot of bad days.