I am extremely thankful for everything that I have. From my home to my family to the opportunities that lie before me, I am extremely grateful for where I am in life. Thanksgiving is by far my favorite holiday. From the Thanksgiving tree that hangs in our home every year to the big dinner with family, I think that Thanksgiving is one of the best reasons that we have found to celebrate. And we celebrate this holiday in the right way, by spending time with those we are thankful for.
I always struggle just a bit with Thanksgiving because many of the things that I am thankful for are dependent on the misfortune of others. I used the word ‘things’ very specifically. I know that the most important parts of my life are relationships and people, but I am thankful for stuff. For example, I am sitting here writing on a cool electronic device that allows me to post this to the world. I’m grateful for that. But at what cost do I have this electronic device? I recognize that the raw materials were mined in countries that with major conflict and may very well have funded terrible terrible situations. I know that the assembly of this product was likely not in a situation where the people could make a fair and livable wage. All along the production of this item, people are suffering so that I can have this relatively inexpensive device.
Can I be thankful that I was born into a situation of wealth where I didn’t have to worry about the evils of other parts of the world, while contributing to those evils? This really bothers me.
This Thanksgiving I am grateful for my freedoms and I’m especially thankful for the opportunities that I have to try and help others in the world either by being conscious of my purchasing habits or by providing direct help. Oh, and one of my favorite systems to encourage both physical activity and philanthropy: Plus Three is a place where companies have decided to donate to a charity based on how much you run, ride your bike or participate in other activities. All you have to do is log it.
I really liked this image that I found on the web recently:
So I wish everyone a happy Thanksgiving. I hope that we can all spend it really examining everything that we have in life and recognizing how much there is to be extremely grateful for.