Thursday, November 24, 2011

A word on Thanksgiving

I don't celebrate Thanksgiving because I don't live in the U.S. I suppose if my parents had continued to celebrate it after their move to Australia I may have continued the tradition. Nevertheless, many of my loved ones celebrate and have posted some lovely comments of thankfulness on Facebook today.

Inspired by their comments I'd like to add some of my own. In a sense, it is because of all the blessings in our life that we have been inspired and able to do the Footprints Project. So, here are mine, in no particular order. I'm thankful for:

  • life
  • loved ones
  • by an accident of birth having lived in countries of affluence
  • the world we live in
  • sun and rain to help our food grow
  • enough money to cover all of our needs and a good deal of our wants
  • safety
  • freedom
  • our health
  • hot and cold clean running water
  • gas & electricity
  • a home 
  • the fact that my children go to school instead of having to work under intolerable conditions
  • fresh and abundant food and food choices
  • good roads
  • technology and the fact that we have access to it, time for it and can afford it
  • ditto for entertainment
  • a reliable car 
  • public transport
  • warm clothing
  • a garden (which even though I hate working in is still a  luxury that many don't have)
  • reasonable public health
  • good public education
  • the choice to go private with both of the above should I wish 
I could go on but I think you get the picture.

Cheers and I hope you have as much in your life to be thankful for on this Thanksgiving whether you're in the US or not.


  1. Your sentiments above remind us how lucky we are to be born into a first world country. It does however place the dilemma squarely in the mind regarding whether I am an evil person for not materially reducing my standard of living and passing on the reduction to those less fortunate.

    On another note, adopting your sentiments above on a daily basis can only be worthwhile, rather than waiting for one day every year. I do find it hard not to go to 'the dark side' however, as the historical context as far as I know it re the Pilgrims and Thanksgiving makes me most pessimistic about human nature (ie we would have starved if not for the good nature of the Indians, so to repay them we will wipe them out over the next few years).

    1. Is it evil to live to a certain standard? Maybe, maybe not. If you reduced your standard of living, would you pass on the reduction? How would your family feel? Would you become resentful?
      I feel very fortunate on a daily basis and merely used the holiday of Thanksgiving as a catalyst. I agree with you about the historical context. I would think one would be hard pressed to find a native American who could find much to be grateful for on Thanksgiving. A bit like Invasion Day here. It would be interesting to know how those nations might have evolved without colonisation by the west. Given human nature, how different would it have ended up, I wonder.