As American children, we learn about the Thanksgiving holiday through historical tales that have been disinfected and repackaged without the violence and immorality that actually occurred. There are a number of reasons why I don't support this type of historical revisionism, but I don't want to go into that here. What I want to say is that I do support the idea of taking the time to remember things to be thankful for. It's an exercise that people of all cultures and nationalities can benefit from at any time of the year.
Things that I'm thankful for at this moment.
1. This morning's news shows that the siege in Mumbai is over. I'm deeply thankful for this, and my sympathy goes out to the victims. Targeting civilians with violence is always wrong.
2. I'm thankful for the relationships that I've developed with my family, friends, and animals. They're certainly not perfect relationships, but they're always worth the time and effort that it takes to sustain them.
3. I'm thankful that I have employment during a time when many people are struggling against downsizing and a receding economy. Being able to work is a privilege.
4. I'm thankful that the people in my life are relatively healthy. I've had my fill of illness within my circle, and I'm looking forward to a few years without having to face the inevitability of mortality. I need the healing time.
5. I'm thankful for the historical figures who have been passionate and observant enough to make discoveries that effect my life every day. This includes every individual throughout history that has contributed to the development of indoor plumbing and modern sanitation practices. It includes the scientists who discovered antibiotics and other advances in medicine, and it especially includes those figures who were willing to make these discoveries at the cost of their own lives. Many scientists have struggled against superstition throughout the ages, and I thank them for it.
6. In many ways artists and scientists are alike because they view the world with a sense of wonder. I'm thankful for that sense of wonder, and I'm also thankful that there are creative people using a variety of mediums (music, drama, literature...) to paint pictures of the world from their own perspectives. This is what gets me through every day of my life.