Here are a few things I am thankful for on my 66th celebration of Thanksgiving:
First and foremost, I am thankful for the health of my children and for the opportunities that lie before them. Every day I am thankful that I became a father (and a stepfather) and am still, occasionally, called to duty as a guide.
Many of us have lost loved ones but our hearts remain full of gratitude for the blessings we received from them on this earth. My late parents continue to guide me.
I am thankful for my wife who shows me time and again that she has my back. I am blessed by her love and support (even for my crazy ideas).
And for friends who can magically transport me to the best of times.
Thanks go to my employers, past and present, for safe places to work and thrive. I’ve been lucky, and I thank them for the prosperity that allows me to provide.
I am so thankful for my own health. Even though there are new aches and pains that are quite unwelcome, I can still get up on stage and sing in community theater.
And I am thankful for the community itself where we can have disagreements but always come together to celebrate and to collaborate. And for the larger community of our great republic as we navigate the complexities of freedom and democracy. And for the brave men and women of our military who ensure that privilege.
I am also thankful to every day citizens who participate in this grand democratic experiment.
I am thankful for those who give something of themselves so that others who are less fortunate might find light to improve their lives.
I am thankful for the forces of nature that give us air to breathe, water to drink, and land from which to grow. And I hope we take greater action to respect those divine gifts. And for the cosmos where our revolving home sees the sun set and rise again to remind us that every day holds a new opportunity.
Thanksgiving does not have a perfect history. Controversy goes beyond the story of when the first feast was held; it is steeped with cultural appropriation from a period that is frequently white-washed. For that reason many people do not celebrate Thanksgiving, and I understand their quarrel.
At the same time it must be understood that I, and many others, are not celebrating events, but, rather, what the day evolved into: A time to reflect upon those things for which we are grateful.
In my home growing up it was a family gathering, and we each shared a story of thanks as we dined. There was excess from our many blessings, but we also learned to carry our bounty to others who have lived without. That’s how my family celebrated, and it is why I celebrate today.
And finally, I am thankful to everyone who allowed me to take a little time out of their day to share these thoughts.