We give thanks.
In a world where people don’t know where their next meal will come from, or where they will sleep at night, we give thanks.
In a world where wars are waged over wounded pride and imaginary lines, we give thanks.
In a world where children die in bombings or fleeing to find better, we give thanks.
We do not give thanks just because our tables are overflowing with deep-fried turkey and green bean casserole. It’s not because we have king-sized beds and newly shingled roofs. It isn’t because our pride isn’t damaged or lines aren’t crossed or our soldiers are not in danger. It isn’t because our children are safer than someone else’s.
Or at least, it shouldn’t be.
We give thanks not because we are different than people who face these problems. We give thanks because we know we could be them so easily. In everything we have to be grateful for, there is the oh-so-poignant realization that the things we love and appreciate are fleeting.
We give thanks for our families because we don’t know who sits at our table this year who will be gone in the next. We give thanks for the things we love because things come and go. We give thanks for our health because we are so very fragile.
So somewhere between your Thanksgiving parades and your football and your pumpkin pie, take a breath to appreciate everything and everyone in your life. The job that isn’t perfect but helps you pay the bills. The family that drives you crazy but loves you like mad. The house that shelters you; the food that feeds you. All of the awesome and frustrating and petty and incredible things that make up a life that is uniquely yours.
And give thanks.