While Black Friday sales, parades, wild bar nights and football may garner the most attention in the month of November, we need to remember what this time of year is truly about – giving thanks for all that we have. There are many tangible (and intangible) parts of life that people tend to take for granted. So below are a few things that we should all be thankful for this year.
The definition of freedom is “The power or right to act, speak or think as one wants without hindrance or restraint.” Shockingly, not everyone in this world has this power or right. Growing up in this great land of opportunity, the idea that we all are free citizens may never even cross you mind – until it’s taken away from you.
Family and Friends
Family is so very important and something that no one should take for granted. They’re a support system and they care for you when you’re in need. Take the time to thank them for all the love and support you receive year after year. If your family situation isn’t so crystal clear, be sure to thank those friends who act as if they were your very own blood. A great way to become a friend of someone in need is by getting involved in the Big Brother Big Sister program. This organization not only can help a young child fill a void in their life, but also offers an opportunity to create a very special relationship.
Whatever your health status may be, find something to be grateful for. If you are in good health and in great shape, don’t take it for granted. Life is a beautiful thing. Treat your body as it if it were a machine – nourish it, protect it, and look after it. Sadly, there are some people in this world who don’t have the resources to keep themselves in good health, but there are ways you can help. Organizations like the American Red Cross and The Carter Center, among others, offer many ways you can help those in need.
Food and Water
My brother teaches third grade in Honduras. My family and I took a trip down to the Central American country to visit him and you quickly see the contrasts between the first world and third world. There are too many things that we take advantage of and water is one of the biggest. There are many programs, projects, and groups out there dedicated to giving those in need fresh drinking water including The Water Project and Children’s Safe Drinking Water. There are too many people around the world who don’t get clean water. Be thankful every time you turn on the faucet or take a shower.
It’s a blessing to open up your fridge, or even have a fridge, and find it filled with fruits, vegetables, meats, etc. Just like clean water, there is an abundance of people in this world who are fight hunger each and every day. With food banks all over the country, it’s very easy to lend a helping hand.
This one may be surprising to you, as it’s not a generic “What I’m thankful for” response. President Bill Clinton once said, “If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.” Everyone makes mistakes, but not everyone takes advantage of these learning opportunities. Be grateful for the blunders and faults, as they are what make us stronger physically and mentally, while preparing us for the next obstacle.
These are just a few things that we can all give thanks for this year. Be appreciative of what you have and don’t agonize over the things you want because you can never be quite sure when of these things might be taken away.
What are you thankful for this year? Share in the comments section below!
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