This is the third Thanksgiving where I have been away from family and friends. A person does not necessarily realize the impact of Thanksgiving, as in the U.S. we get so caught up in travel plans, cooking plans, shopping, and the other trappings of the season that is foisted upon us. Sometimes it takes being away to appreciate what we have, not only with loved ones, but as U.S. citizens. This is why I have decided to dedicate today’s blog post to the things for which I am thankful.
I am thankful for…
- My family. Though we may not always get along, you are always in my heart.
- My friends. You have provided me with love, support, strength, laughs, and so many other things. I could not get through life without you.
- My health. Though I joke that I am getting old and breaking down, I am still without major disease or disability, and am thankful for that.
- My faith. Though I came to it as an adult, it has provided me with an anchor and a community.
- My liberty. For all that people complain about the U.S., we are still a free nation and we can make our voices heard in a world where so many voices are stifled.
- The lessons I have learned. Lessons are often difficult but ultimately valuable, and I have had some doozies.
- The opportunity to serve in Peace Corps, and again as a Peace Corps Response Volunteer.
- The constant changes and challenges that life offers. I am not one who likes to be bored, and fate makes sure I am not.
- The opportunities I have had to gain an education, to live freely, to pursue happiness.
- The opportunities I have had to travel, photograph, and write about my experiences.
- Those of you who read this blog. Thank you for reading, and for subscribing. It is nice to know that my voice is not simply another one in the black hole that is the Internet.
- Leaders and teachers who inspire me – from Buddha to Maimonides to Mother Teresa to Khalil Gibran, from previous to current colleagues and supervisors, I try to find a way to learn from people.
- So many other things that I cannot list or the blog will be too long.
To all of you, I wish a Happy Thanksgiving. Be safe, be well, tell people you are thankful for them. As Mother Teresa said, “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”