Gratitude, optimism, and a year in review

Here in the United States, we as a people celebrated our holiday of Thanksgiving yesterday. As tradition would have it this practice is in remembrance of good and friendly native Americans helping early pilgrims learn what grains and vegetables to farm and how to farm the land of the new world. As tradition would have it, the holiday is the celebration of their first harvest together and a moment of peace and happiness in the new world. Obviously, it is not as easy as all that. However, it is useful and almost definitely rooted in a more or less true story.

In our modern era, we use it as a cheerful but also introspective investigation as the year ends. We enjoy good food and the presence of our families as we take stock of the blessings that we enjoy. In this spirit, I’d like to talk about some of the things that I am thankful for, and some of the reasons that I plan on staying optimistic as the new year quickly approaches us. So without further ado, let’s talk a little.

First I would like to say how profoundly thankful I am to God. I know most of you are not religious. You might not understand this. I can’t overstate just how valuable it is to have a faith system capable of sustaining you. There is no better place to seek comfort when you are in a place of uncertainty and pain. There is no greater place of comfort than knowing that there is a plan in place and that for better or worse there is already a plan and vision.

I am thankful for my friends and family. I have a support system that is as reliable as any that is out there. They have helped me in hard times. They have given me a warm and stable environment to live in. They were my first and most loyal readers, encouraging me when I was frustrated and angry with myself and my content. They along with a sincere desire to elevate the discourse are the reasons that I write.

I am thankful also that I live in the United States of America. This is not some Trumpian allegiance to the government. You all should know me better than that. Rather this is an acknowledgment that as cynical as it is tempting to be, this is still a fantastic place to live. Our markets are not perfectly free. Our civil liberties as free people are shrinking every day. These measures as compared to other nations around the world should not be forgotten, however. We can typically go to a store, or get online and buy any given thing that we might want. We will not be killed in the middle of the night for saying all the dissenting things we love so much. We have the legal mechanisms in place that allow us to protect ourselves. These are not global norms and while things aren’t perfect here, they really are pretty good.

Finally, this might seem odd but I am profoundly grateful for social media of all things. It has been a great blessing to me. It has allowed me to meet new and interesting people. It has done wonders to grow my readership. More importantly, it has done wonders to grow the circle of people that I would consider friends. The specter of real censorship now hangs over everything we say, and it will only be when we lose it that some of us might realize what a blessing these various mediums have been for us.

Now the reason for optimism as I continue forward into a new year. I have no reason to believe that any of the things above will be lost to me. Contentment is one of the keys to happiness and I have everything a person could want. With all of these blessings, who could stop me? This holiday season take the “white pill” and remember just how much we all have going just right for us. Thank you.

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