Reasons to be thankful this holiday season

Like a lot of us, I have plenty of reasons to give thanks. The Thanksgiving holiday allows us all to pause for a moment, breathe, reflect, and look back at some of the things we have been fortunate to make it through and come out on the right side of things. 

I am thankful for my family, for my friends, and for all the people who are not here who believed in me. 

Being thankful is not always about the money you have or all the material stuff you tend to hang on to. It’s about being able to spend time with your family or loved ones. It’s about helping and being a blessing to others. The holidays should be a time when you are completely selfless. It’s about doing unto others. 

It’s truly a blessing to be here for me to be able to put thought to paper. My faith in God has always been my refuge, good bad or indifferent. I am grateful that God has allowed me to walk with a humble spirit. More importantly, I am thankful God has spared my life to be able to speak to others in the way that I can. 

My faith in God does not mean I am perfect. Far from it. We are all flawed individuals with all sorts of hiccups and hangups. My faith in God allows me to appreciate the little things in life that sometimes we take for granted like going for a simple walk on the beach, inhaling the air we breathe, or just sitting on a bench reading a book at a nature park. 

It’s pretty amazing that it’s the simple things in life that can often bring us the most joy. Thanksgiving and the holiday season should be a time of peace and goodwill and not war and destruction. 

My heart goes out to all the people and children caught up in warring conflict and who cannot enjoy this season of peace. I pray that those situations can come to a resolution. When we see what is going on around the world, and even in certain parts of this country, we should be appreciative of our little safe haven. 

We have every reason to be thankful for the women and men in the military who keep our country safe from harm’s way. We must also give kudos to the men and women in law enforcement who protect us from the bad guys. 

We have to be mindful and appreciate all the first responders (firefighters, paramedics, etc.) who sacrifice or give up their holidays to make a difference in people’s lives. The holidays, as I see it, are also a time when we can just say thank you to the people who matter most in our lives. 

These individuals cater to us. They take care of us. Emotionally, financially, and spiritually, they pour into us. They pray for us. They guide us. They are members of the community. They are family. They are intimate partners. They are our doctors and nurses. They go to church with us. We shop together. 

It’s also a good thing to give thanks to the people who have come before us. The foundation of who we are has to come from somewhere. It could be mom, dad, grandparents, or guardians. To that degree, it could even be an educator. For me, all of the above works. 

As a professional journalist today, my thank you go to my mom and my fourth-grade teacher, both of whom pumped my heart and frail little ego into believing I would become a great writer. Mrs. Kipfer and my mom started my pathway to becoming a writer. I haven’t looked back since. Today, I say thank you. 

Photo by August de Richelieu: