Reasons to be Thankful

What are you thankful for? Perhaps you’re in a time in your life when it is hard to feel thankful.
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Jobs lost, relationships fallen apart, finances unpredictable. You may have a lot more than you realize though. It’s easy to focus on yourself and your problems without giving any thought to the bigger picture. To put it into perspective, just take a look at the rest of the world.

  • The poorest 5% of Americans are richer than 68% of the world’s inhabitants.
  • If you have food in the refrigerator, clothes on your back, a roof overhead and a place to sleep, you are richer than seventy five percent of the people in the world.
  • If you can attend a church or synagogue meeting without fear of harassment, arrest, torture or death you have the freedom that three billion people in the world do not have.
  • At least 80% of humanity lives on less than $10 a day.
  • Almost two in three people lacking access to clean water survive on less than $2 a day, with one in three living on less than $1 a day.
  • Millions of women and children spend several hours a day collecting water.
  • Some 1.8 million children die each year as a result of diarrhea caused by unsanitary water.
  • In 2005, the wealthiest 20% of the world accounted for 76.6% of total private consumption. The poorest fifth just 1.5%.
  • A mere 12 percent of the world’s population uses 85 percent of its water, and these 12 percent do not live in the Third World.
  • 10.6 million children died in 2003 before they reached the age of 5 (same as children population in France, Germany, Greece and Italy).

I am forty one weeks pregnant (as I wrote this). I am very thankful to have carried the baby this long considering the rates of miscarriage and infertility in this country today. It can be easy to fall into the trap of grumbling though and thinking along the lines of “When will this baby come already, I’m so tired of being pregnant!” I am. But if I focus on the positive, it is better for me, for baby, and everyone around me.

I have more than enough to be thankful for! We have a roof over our heads and my husband still has a job. His income is sufficient for me to stay home with kids even though we have to make an effort to live on one income. We never go hungry. We have clean running water and functional sewage. We can even afford to take a vacation. I have a loving family and friends surrounding me. I really have nothing to complain about and so much to be thankful for!

May you have a simple and reflective Thanksgiving and find the joy in any circumstances! Please share…what areyou thankful for?

Photo:  Ben Do/stock.xchng

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