Last year, the turkey and trimmings came from a food pantry. Still, we were thankful. This year, we donated to a food pantry, and for the ability to do so, we are grateful.
The economy has forced so many families to re-prioritize, to swallow their pride, and to make sacrifices that used to belong only to the poverty class — a class that has grown to include more than ever since the Great Depression. What we are thankful for now was, perhaps, something we took for granted in our past. Our lives are forever changed, and in spite of the difficulties and challenges resulting from our economic climate, some of those changes aren’t so bad for humanity.
This year, I am thankful to finally have a conventional job. I’m thankful for the large extended “family” of mine that will share the dinner table with me on Thanksgiving day. That extended “family” is made up of young adults who know more than anyone the definition of “challenge” and “hardship,” who are themselves thankful for the opportunity they now have to pursue an education without worrying about how to feed their babies, etc. And I’m grateful that I’m still able to offer them that chance, to mentor and teach them; it is as rewarding for me as the end result is for them!
To all of my readers, this Thanksgiving — whether your food is from the food pantry or not — my wish for you is a day to cherish what you have. I hope you can set aside, even temporarily, the thought that you’ve perhaps gone backwards economically, that you have less than you used to have, and that the light at the end of the tunnel seems so far away. For the day, I wish for you the ability to be deeply appreciative of the freedoms we have as citizens of the United States, and an awareness of the price for that freedom.