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since April 1998



I Am Thankful 

by Sara Bennett, Editor BICN

I got an email from my sister Bonny Ball, who lives in Vancouver, Canada, with a list of things "I am thankful for". I really liked it, but wow, so many of the items only make sense if you are one of the tiny affluent minority in the world! (To be fair it looks like that may have been intentional.) So I made my own version that reflects and reminds how the majority in our world lives - those who are neither rich nor particularly free. My version appears below in brackets, with the original. I hope this isn't too preachy or off topic...

** I Am Thankful ... **

...for the taxes that I pay because it means that I am employed.

... for the help I give or receive because it means that my community has some resources and charity, even if it's not enough to go around.

...for the mess I have to clean up after a party because it means I have been surrounded by friends.

... for all the quarrels, misunderstandings, and struggles that go on in my family and community, because it means I'm not alone in the world.

...for the clothes that fit a little too snug because it means I have enough to eat.

... for the food and clothes my family has, because it means I have something to eat and wear, even if it's not enough sometimes.

...for my shadow who watches me work because it means I am out in the sunshine.

... for my shadow because it means I am not in total darkness.

...for a lawn that needs mowing, windows that need cleaning and gutters that need fixing because it means I have a home.

... for a safe place to sleep because it means I have a home, whether it's a palace, a single room of mud and straw, or a bed in a humanely-run shelter, refugee camp, or prison.

...for all the complaining I hear about government because it means we have freedom of speech.

... for all the complaints I hear against our government, because it means we have the courage to speak out, without or despite fear of persecution.

...for the spot I find at the far end of the parking lot because it means I am capable of walking.

... for clean water, whether or not I have to walk a long way to gather it.

...for my huge heating bill because it means I am warm.

... for electricity, gas, wood, cow dung, leaves, or whatever I use to cook my family's food and keep warm in winter.

...for the lady behind me in church who sings off key because it means that I can hear.

... for the pleasant and unpleasant sights, sounds, and smells in my world, because it means my senses are working.

...for weariness and aching muscles at the end of the day because it means I have been productive.

... for the drudgery of farming, household work, employment because it means I am contributing to my family and my community.

...for getting too much e-mail because it lets me know I have friends who are thinking of me.

... for the times I feel overwhelmed by my responsibilities for my children, my parents, my friends, and the needy in my community, because I know that when my turn comes to be dependent, someone will care for me.