To Be Thankful

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.— Cicero

This weekend is Thanksgiving here in Canada.  The grocery stores are filled with individuals who are lined up looking forlornly at the empty shelf that once held can upon can of cranberry sauce and the freezers that had held frozen turkeys.  Soon The Chinese Food restaurant in town will be full of these same people.

And, of course, as with every year, there is plenty to be thankful for:  freedom, family, friends, employment, healthcare, health….

the obvious gifts are bestowed upon me again this year.  But this weekend I’m scratching a big deeper into my world to try to see what things, upon first reflection seem insignificant, but if I look closer are truly little gifts for which to be thankful.

The ability to read.  And I don’t just mean knowing “how” to read I mean I CAN read whatever I want in the format and manner in which was intended by the author.  No edited or sanitized version.  I can read a piece and determine for myself if it is brilliant or rubbish.  This “gift” also extends to the accessibility of literature in my world.  When I was a little kid we had no bookstore in town until I was in the fourth grade, there was no Internet and the public library wouldn’t let “farm kids” sign out library books.  Thank goodness for the school library, however limited it was because to me it was a treasure chest.  Now, literature literally at my fingertips.  Magic.

The ability to vote and to run for office.  Not that any of the candidates I’ve ever voted for have ever gotten into office but nonetheless participating in the whole democratic process makes me happy and has ever since I turned 18.  It’s civic election here in my neck of the woods and I’m itching to mark my ballot…even though I haven’t been extraordinarily impressed by any political platform in particular.

The ability to call “bullshit” when I see it.  I was pretty gullible in my younger days. As a young girl it wasn’t necessarily that I believed everything an adult of “perceived” moral stature said but I never questioned him or called him on it.  Now, I do, or I don’t care.  I think the ability to question, really critically question, is something to be thankful for otherwise we’d all go around in a comfy pink fog like a bunch of sheep.

Silence.  Seriously.  How wonderful is true, pristine silence.  Where there is no background traffic noise, no human verbal interjections, to electronic humming or clicking.    I live in a neighborhood where this type of silence almost exists and if I can’t get it it’s a short, small walk or drive away.  The bonus of living in a small city, the edge of town is only a five-minute drive away.

The ability to teleport.  How wonderful is the imagination.  We live in an age where we an access stories at any time in television, movies, books.  To escape, if even for a fraction of an hour, from the reality of our lives is truly something to be thankful for.  To live in circumstances that allow our imaginations to take us somewhere new instead of forcing us to consistently worry and be preoccupied by survival (where will I get my next meal?  Where will I sleep, how will I take care of my family?) is truly a gift.

Well, I have only scratched the surface and I have a lot more to write, but I must go to my parents home to help prepare a thanksgiving feast for the entire family….something to truly be thankful for…even for the bloat, water retention and potential indigestion!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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