Day 21: Gratitude

It would be culturally disrespectful for me to not mention some version of the words thanks, appreciation, or gratitude today.

It’s tempting to turn cynical in an age when we’d rather send a text than pick up the phone to say thank you. (myself included) Should I even mention the Middle East turmoil, lackluster economy, and our own personal heartbreaks? Life sucks and yet, the world is still a beautiful place.

Sunset in Bali, September 2009

It’s become tradition for me to list the things I’m grateful for on Thanksgiving Eve. Life isn’t rosy, but we still have it good. It’s not that I hope we turn a blind eye to the woes of the world. I just hope that on a day like Thanksgiving, we celebrate the places where these woes are absent, enjoying dutifully and in good taste what we have. If for any reason, because that’s what the damn day is for. (Strong language for a genuinely good holiday – I mean it!)

Pray that peace comes to the Middle East and other war-torn regions, that basic necessities reach those who are starving for these things, and that we may each become a version of our best self.  Then put those woes aside and enjoy a nice meal with loved ones. (If you can’t, maybe order good Chinese takeout?)

To whoever is reading this, thank you. Your readership- however distant, frequent, or haphazard – creates a kinship that the most untainted part of me can only believe stems from something true and pure.

Without further ado (and before I turn too Zen)

23 Things I am Thankful for on my 23rd Thanksgiving 

1. Me. You. The world. Creation.

2. The number 2. Not being the leader, but the first follower. It is by being the first follower that the lone nut is transformed into a leader. 

3. My family, without whom, I would certainly be starving, poor, and (likely) dead.

4. My friends, for without whom, I would certainly be depressed, less interesting, and (likely) dead.

5. Humor, all forms.

6. Unconditional love.

7. The ability and right to think.

8. The ability and right to communicate.

9. God and His unending grace.

10. Food (special appreciation for all things wine and cheese).

11. Art.

12. Good beats, rhythm, and dance.

13. Danza Kudoro– 175 plays and effectively the most played song on my iPod since I danced to it on the streets of Italy last summer. I listen to it almost everyday and am still not tired of it. I’ll be grateful until the day I am.

14. Technology. Love it hate it, you wouldn’t be reading this without it. (so you better love it)

15. Life.

16. Sleep.

17. New York City. Waking up and seeing the Chrysler Building from my window keeps my head justifiably in the clouds.

18. Beauty, seen and unseen.

19. First-responders, technicians, janitors, EMTs, transit operators –  you make our world work.

20. AMERICA!

21. The person who brought my passport to Lost & Found that time I was scrambling to find it 5 minutes before my flight from Singapore back to the US,

22. The fact that ‘itis happens to me on a regular basis – gluttonous proof of my excessive well-being.

23. The future and all it holds. There is much more to learn. Hope abounds and that cannot disappoint.

 Happy Thanksgiving!

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