Mini-Feature: Being Thankful
What are you thankful for?
I am thankful to God for my wife and children and the patience and friendship of so many with whom I have been blessed to work and fight alongside. The sacrifices of my parents. The love of my siblings. The sacrifices of those who fought in myriad ways to keep this country together over time. But in sum, in this present, for being part of many aligned communities and at this point in life no longer feeling isolated or atomized. This is a true blessing. I am also grateful for living in a time not of stasis but of ferment, as it jars us into conscious decisions and needed thought, giving us each a chance to prove our mettle. Gratitude does not require lazy comfort, but clearly seeing what one owes to others. I am also grateful to the many teachers and mentors I've been blessed to encounter in and outside of the classroom.
Physical health—it’s not everything, of course, but it opens many doors. Be sure to count them all as the blessings they are. Through those doors you can see so many others, far beyond the realm of the flesh, but only if you remind yourself, and your mortal body, to see.
There is so much in the world to be thankful for when one lives in the most prosperous country in the world at the most prosperous, comfortable time in history. But to dwell on this fact should recall the temporal nature of earthly things, especially political ones. Put another way, the good times don't last. So be thankful you've been to enjoy some of the good, and be thankful that you still have the vitality to stave off the bad. Because we can still keep the party going, folks, it will just take hard work and, more than likely, the blessing of God.
This year, as happens periodically, Thanksgiving falls on my birthday. It’s also my 30th. All of this feels incredibly apposite, as decades are a time for taking stock and as my cup, to be perfectly frank, runneth over. It’s a bit embarrassing that 2020 has been such a wonderful year for me personally, since it’s brought about so many changes in the world which I deplore. And yet there it is: through no fault (and certainly no dessert!) of my own, I find myself overwhelmed with gratitude for enormities of goodness in the midst of this hurting world.
I am surrounded by beloved family and a few close friends (that has always been how I like it), madly in love beyond all measure or reason, and doing work into which I can pour my soul among a group of like-minded colleagues—whom I also count as chief among those friends I mentioned. Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good: this is true always, in fun times and in disaster. But when it happens that things are going great, it is our joyous and solemn duty to praise God for his benefits as much as we do for his mercy in times of need. I hope that you who read this are also counting abundant blessings, and I thank you for (inexplicably) caring what I have to say. And so, as Tiny Tim observed: God bless us, everyone.