It’s Thanksgiving weekend in the US. I still remember my first Thanksgiving in Boston as an 18 year old undergraduate. Most of the local students left campus for their homes, most of the internationals stayed put, and we ended up having Thanksgiving dinner at the local gas station because we hadn’t prepared to have any food at home and all the restaurants were closed. It was quite the experience, and I was fortunate to be invited to the Thanksgiving dinners of my local friends on future Thanksgiving’s.
But setting that experience aside, I think that Thanksgiving is a very important day. I wish more countries set a day aside for people to think about all that they have to be grateful for.
When I was a kid, my father used to say that I should be grateful for more things in life. He was right. Although I still struggle to experience these moments of gratitude on a daily basis, I’m now aware of all that I have to be thankful for. Here are some of them:
- Being alive, with the ability to think and move. We take each of these for granted, but when you remember that you’re probably going to have the first for less than 80 years, and that not everyone who lives has the ability to think and move, you realize just how fortunate you are.
- A lively, fun, beautiful, and caring wife, who happens to also have been born on November 24th, this year’s Thanksgiving Day. She’s a reason for celebration and gratitude, all in one.
- Loving parents whose contributions to shaping my character I value more and more each day. As a kid, I didn’t think much of it. As I’ve grown older, I realize that the role of parents is to not only create opportunities for their child, but more importantly to help their child discover the values that they want to live by so as to pursue the opportunities that they find meaningful. My parents did a great job on the former, but it’s the latter where they really made a difference.
- A job that, even if I had nothing to do that day, I would end up doing anyways. And having found this job at such an early age.
I hope that each of you also have and are able to see the things that you’re grateful for in life.