“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.” -Cynthia Ozick
It only seems appropriate, the week before Thanksgiving, that my blog series focusses on Thankfulness. I knew I could come up with 7 reasons why you should be thankful no problem, but we are all thankful for so many different things – why not ask people around me what they were thankful for? So I emailed friends & family, shared Facebook statuses and asked anyone and everyone to send in pictures of what they were thankful for. The response was overwhelming and so very awesome. Every photo brought a huge smile to my face. Personally, I have a trillion things I am thankful for: my awesome amazing loving family, my education, job, the warmth of a home I can feel protected in, the relationship I have with my boyfriend AJS, the support system I have with my pseudo sisters BP & NF, the ability to give back to the community – seriously, I could give thanks forever. I think we probably all could. And if you haven’t given thanks lately, here is a little friendly reminder – 7 Reasons Why you Should Be Thankful:
1. As Americans, we are blessed beyond belief. We have men & women that have risked their lives to ensure & protect our freedoms here. Be Thankful for a voice. Be Thankful for your freedom.
2. We have clean water. Heck, in most places all we have to do is turn on our tap & drink up. One in Eight people in the world lack access to clean water supplies (that is 884 million people!) When you take a 5 minute shower, you are using more water than a person in a developing country uses in a whole day. Be Thankful for clean water.
3. We have bathrooms. In fact, I can’t think of a single person I know who doesn’t. Even most cabins have indoor plumbing these days & outhouses are still usable toilettes. Almost 40% of the world’s population does not have toilettes. How Thankful for your small bathroom are you now?
4. We have access to education. Nearly a billion people entered the 21st century unable to read a book or sign their names. You are currently reading this blog because someone taught you how. Be Thankful for teachers. Be Thankful for education. Be Thankful for America’s school systems, whether you agree with the process or not – at least we have them.
5. The ability to practice religion freely. Though many may not agree with preaching openly, I can say I am very grateful for my religion. As Americans we are allowed to freely identify with a specific religion. In some countries you can die for that. Be Thankful for your religious freedom.
6. We often forget to be thankful for our hardships, our bad days, our enemies. [What?! yes. I said your enemies] Without the worst times we would not have the best times. And quite frankly, most of us become our best self after enemies have uncovered our blind spots. They help us become better people, stronger people. My darkest days have given way to the most amazing sunrises, deaths have turned into bitter sweet memories, & hardships have turned into stories to laugh about later. Be Thankful for sadness, hardship, trials & all your enemies.
7. You are here because of someone. No matter the situation, there was a choice to bring you into the world & give you a chance. Be Thankful for Life & your gift of being here right now.
And Now, My favorite Part – What all of YOU are Thankful For:
“I am thankful for My dad. For his ability to be a Father, a Grandfather, a Vet, an auto mechanic, a photographer, an artist, a drummer, a motorcycle maniac and a friend all in one life span.” – Brenna Peterson
“This year, my perspective on life has changed in ways I would have never imagined. Having completed so many milestones in one year; Marriage, college graduation, and baby, my life has changed for the better.” -Catherine Christensen
“I am Thankful for my little family” – Megan Young
“I am beyond thankful for these two amazing men in my life. Without both of them, I do not know where I would be! The joy a child brings is so precious, but having someone to share the poopy diapers, the long screaming nights, and the first time he looks up and says mamma and dadda is priceless. I love them both. This is what I am thankful for!” -Pam Foster
“Be Thankful. Life is Short. Laugh. A lot. Enjoy yourself. Don’t sweat the small stuff. Volunteer your time to others. Fall in Love. Hold onto it & fight for it. Embrace the bad days. Have faith that the good days are coming. You are alive, celebrate today.” – AJC & AJS