This week is provides an opportunity for us to express our gratitude for the many blessings we have in our lives. I am not going to bore with my personal list of things I am thankful but rather try to bring up things we all take for granted and should be thankful for. Before I get into that, I must share what I am most thankful for. I am thankful for my beautiful wife, her continued support, our years and memories spent together, and that she said “yes” almost five years ago. I am thankful for my amazing son; he is such a wonderful gift. Everyday he learns something new and it’s such a blessing to be in his life. I am also extremely grateful for my family, my health, and my career.
A large percentage of Americans wake up every day dreading going into work. I am not one of those people. I love what I do. During these tough economic times, if you are fortunate enough to have a steady job, think of those who are out of work. I am sure someone who is unemployed and has a family to feed would gladly take your job. So be thankful and most importantly, do your job to the best of your ability. Remember that no matter what happens, there is always someone somewhere else who has it worse than you. I struggle with that concept sometimes, but when I pause to reflect, it really puts things into perspective for me.
I wish I made more money. I may sound terrible for saying that, but I want to be more comfortable, and I am sure a lot of other people feel the same way. Did you know that over 1.4 billion people in our world live on less than $1.25 a day? Over 22,000 kids in the world die each day because of living in poverty conditions. I have two dollars in my glove box that has been there for over a month. I am just waiting to use it on some junk food at a gas station. That makes me feel blessed that I don’t have to live off that amount, but it also makes me feel very guilty. I should be doing more with what I have and am going to make a more valiant effort to do so in this next year.
Here are some other things I am thankful for and things we should stop and be grateful for when we think we have it too rough. First, I am thankful to be alive. What greater gift is there than life? Everyday people die, sooner or later I will too, but every day the earth is below my feet is a great one! We only have 24 hours in a day and we never know when our time will run out. We get to choose how we spend our 24, so make sure you spend it doing something you love with people you love.
Next, I am thankful I have access to clean water every day. Each year 3.4 million people die from diseases originating from contaminated water. Over 780 million people lack access to clean water. Think about that the next time you don’t like they way something is prepared at a restaurant. Every 20 seconds a child dies from some form of water related illness. I am thankful that I do not have to worry about my son having clean water. Think about it, people walk miles each day in some parts of the world just to get clean water. Most of us only have to walk 10 feet to our sink. That really puts things into perspective for me.
Furthermore, I am thankful I can drive. Sitting in traffic can be frustrating, but think of all the people in the world that have to travel by foot to get to where they need to be. I am thankful for the access to technology that I have and for our ability to travel by flight. Think of what people would have done 200 years ago to have the ability to fly or the ability to communicate with people across oceans in a second. I am thankful for my ability to be self-sufficient, because many are not so lucky.
We have five senses, of the five, which do you value most? I value sight but I take it for granted. Imagine what it must be like for those who do not have sight. There is so much beauty in the world around us, but we take it for granted. Our planet is really magnificent when you stop and think about all of the natural wonders. Sight such a basic thing for most but we all take it for granted. I am extremely thankful for Salvino D’Armate, who is credited with inventing the first wearable eye glasses. A big thank you also goes out to Leonardo Da Vinci who first came up with idea of contact lenses. Without glasses or contact lenses, I would not be able to see. We take for granted the inventions that make life possible and more enjoyable.
Having a roof over my head is also something I am thankful for. There are over 100 million who are homeless in the world today. In the United States, we have over 1.37 million people who are homeless and under the age of 18. Too often we caught up in wanting more space, a bigger yard, and a finished basement. At least I know I do at times. For this week, pause and give thanks that you don’t have to worry every day whether or not you’re going to have a place to sleep at night.
Here are some other random things we all should be thankful for. I am thankful for indoor plumbing; I can only image what life without it was like. After a summer like the one we just had I am thankful for air conditioning. I spent it driving in a truck with no air, so that really gave me an appreciation for it. Other items to be thankful for are the radio, refrigeration, the microwave, and DVR. These items are not essential for survival but they make life more convenient and enjoyable.
Remember this week and throughout the year to be thankful for the many blessings and talents we all possess. When we start to add them up, we will realize that we are too blessed to be stressed!
I am thankful for your support in reading this blog. Take care, have a great week, and be an RGP!