On Being Thankful

As this posts I will be on a bus to New York City to visit my husband’s sister, her husband, and their twins for Thanksgiving. I’ve been trying to figure out how to write about being thankful, but have started and then deleted what I had written multiple times. It’s not that I don’t have more things to be thankful for than I can count, but that everything I wrote wasn’t adequately expressing what I wanted to get across. This what I managed to come up with.

I am thankful for so many things that are a result of me just being born who I am and where I was. I am thankful that unlike many people across this world that I will not have to worry about deadly attacks occurring where I live. Right now the focus is what is going on in Gaza, and as I continue to see and hear about what is going on over there I am thankful I was born in a nation that despite our differences is mostly peaceful. There many places across this world where that peace does not exist.

I am thankful that I was born to a well off white family and because of that have been blessed with many things that directly stem from the station in life in which I was born. I have never had to struggle against racism.  I have never had to worry about where my next meal is going to come from. Living in Baltimore I am constantly bombarded with tragic stories of violence. I have never had to worry about living in a place that wasn’t safe either because of violence or poor living conditions. I have never had to worry about receiving a subpar education. I have never had to worry that if tragedy struck me because of  something like a lost job that there wouldn’t be anyone there to help me out until I could get back on my feet.

I am grateful that as a woman I was born in a time and place that does not relegate me to the status of a second class citizen. I have had the privilege of being well educated. I can hold a job. I can speak my mind. I can vote. I can marry who I want. I can choose to not have children. There are many places in the world that none of these things are true. I am thankful that I have these opportunities.

I am thankful that I am free to practice my faith without persecution and that those around me are also allowed this freedom. I don’t have to worry about being tortured or killed for following my beliefs. I don’t have to follow religious rules being imposed on me whether or not I agree with them.

I am grateful that I am lucky enough to have a job that provides me with good healthcare that allows me to afford to properly treat the chronic illnesses I have and cover me for any other medical issues that may occur in my life. If for some reason I were to ever lose my job and my medical insurance along with it, I am also lucky to have a husband whose insurance would cover me. I don’t have to choose between paying for my healthcare and paying for other expenses. I don’t have to let medical conditions deteriorate sometimes to the point of death because I can’t afford to treat them. I can afford to see the doctors I want and to receive the treatment I want because I happen to get health insurance from my employer. There are many people in this country who do not receive that luxury.

I am thankful for all of these privileges I have in my life that are mostly a result of me being born who I was rather than anything I did to deserve them. There are many people across the United States and the world who do not share these same privileges even though I think they should. Hopefully instead of just being thankful for what I have I can work to make sure that others have these same freedoms.


2 thoughts on “On Being Thankful

  1. We are fortunate indeed to live in the US and have opportunities that many people in the world do not have. I was thinking today about how our choices also affect how our lives play out. What if I hadn’t decided to attend college in Tennessee after finishing my education in South Dakota? What if I hadn’t taken a teaching job in Cincinnati, where I met your dad? My life would be on a totally different course. Different choices could have led to a completely different life.

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