Wednesday, November 21, 2012

10 Things For Which I'm Thankful

Photo by:   The Consortium
Before the Thanksgiving Holiday gets in full swing here at the Family Compound, I thought I would post some appropriately holiday themed sentiments about things that have very fortunately worked out in my favor.  The fact that I am living the life that I live is an accident of astronomical proportions, as is true for all of us.  I could just as easily be living in a war-torn country or unable to express affection toward my spouse.

With that, 10 things I'm thankful for:

1.  I'm thankful that I was born in a time period in which I do not treat my wife like a piece of cattle.  I really enjoy the back and forth my wife and I have about...well almost every issue really.  We're always arguing--even when we agree about things.  She's witty and intelligent and unafraid to speak her mind, and I love her for it.  In another time or another place, she or I or both would be completely different, and I like the way we are just fine.

2.  I'm thankful that I was born with a sexual orientation that is viewed as agreeable by society as a whole.  I'm thankful that I am able to tell my wife that I love her without any fear of judgement or scorn from neighbors or friends for who I am.  I'm thankful that I was able to marry my wife and receive the privileges and benefits that comes with that, and that my government recognizes our marriage as valid and binding.

3.  I'm thankful that I was born with an amount of melanin that is viewed as appropriate and advantageous in society, and that I have not had to deal with adversities or obstacles in my path simply based on those factors.  I am thankful that people will not disregard my accomplishments as special treatment awarded to me by the government based solely on my skin pigmentation.

Photo by:  José Goulão
4.  I'm thankful that I live in a country in which we have a high standard of living and that the medical care we have access to is held to a high standard in relation to many places in the world.  I'm thankful that our medical professionals have access to an abundant array of medicines and supplies to keep me healthy and alive for as long as possible.

5.  Related, I'm thankful that I live in a country in which the government provides access to that excellent healthcare in certain cases that have benefited both myself and people that I love at different points in our lives.  I am thankful that that same country has taken steps to ensure that more people will have access to that healthcare, and that--should something happen--I can count on the government to offer the same aid again that they have to my loved ones and me in the past.

6.  I'm thankful that I have not had to face adversity, difficulty, or scorn based on my career decisions in relation to whether or not I will have a family later, that I am awarded respect in most circles for being born with acceptable genitalia, and that I don't have to deal with people not taking me seriously if I get emotional and/or angry about a particular issue.

7.  I'm thankful for the genetic accident that resulted in the mental abilities of which I am equipped, and I'm thankful that those abilities resulted in being able to attend quality higher education at virtually no cost to myself.  

8.  I'm further thankful that that quality higher education resulted in opportunities that I otherwise would have missed, both personal and professional, and resulted in my getting a well-paying, stable job while many are struggling to attain employment of any kind.

Photo by:  CTSI-Global
9.  I'm thankful for the bizarre anomaly that is the human brain.  Rather than being equipped with brute strength or quick reflexes, humans developed a tool far greater, which resulted in many other useful tools.  The same brain that looked at the dangly bits of a cow and thought, "I'm gonna drink the white stuff that comes out of that," also looked at the white dots in the night sky and said, "I want to go there."

10.  Finally, I'm thankful that I was born to a supportive and loving family that has more than willing to drop everything and drive 2.5 hours to come bail me out of some jam or another that I got myself into.  I'm thankful that they do with and much more and ask for basically nothing in return.  I'm thankful for my friends--who I consider extensions of my family, anyway.  I'm thankful for the laughs they've brought me, and the help they've offered me at different--and sometimes the same--times.

May you and yours have a happy Thanksgiving if you live in the US.  If not, have a good day anyway.  Why the hell not, you deserve it.