Sometimes, we may actually be specific in what we are thankful for. For myself, I have a tendency to begin by enumerating material objects. For instance, I might give thanks for having a house, or for my cars, or perhaps for items in my house, like digital high definition cable TV or a broadband internet connection. The last two are particularly delightful things.
Only later—perhaps because they start glaring at me—will I mention my three adorable daughters and my equally adorable wife of more than thirty years. Maybe I’ll mention my mom and sister.
But there are other things that we take for granted that perhaps I should think about more often to give thanks for.
For instance, breathing is really a cool thing to be able to do. Since I developed asthma (of the seasonal variety) I’ve become a lot more conscious of this simple pleasure. So I should be thankful for my allergist, and for the drug companies and their researchers that invested enormous amounts of time and money to come up with treatments that keep me mostly symptom free.
Food. In the
Freedom and democracy. Although it’s thankfully been mostly on the rise these last few decades, it remains a rare and precious thing. Ninety-nine percent of the human race through ninety-nine percent of its history didn’t know what it was. Now we simply assume it as a birthright. Eternal vigilance is still a good idea and it’s something never to take for granted.
Life. The simple fact of being alive in a universe that is more than ninety-nine percent dead hydrogen gas is something to revel in.
And frankly, being thankful for all these things will probably be good for us. In fact, if we did this more often in our lives than once a year, since enumerating things we otherwise take for granted can help us keep our lives in perspective just a bit, to let us see that just because we had a flat tire, or even a major tragedy, does not mean there’s nothing to feel good about.