This Thanksgiving, as is the case every Thanksgiving, I was endlessly grateful for the many blessings in my life.
I make it a habit every day to count my blessings. As far as I’m concerned, that’s the surest road to happiness. However, Thanksgiving makes me think longer and harder about the blessings in my life, so I’ll share with you my many thanks. I didn’t get a chance to write this before or during Thanksgiving, but being a day late doesn’t change my sentiments.
I am thankful for. . .
President Trump. Our president fights for the things in which he believes and he’s proven over the past two years that he believes in the idea of America and he believes in the American people, regardless of race, color, creed, sexual orientation, or country of national origin. If you value America and the Constitution, he and I value you.
Borders. Without borders, there is no nation, there is just chaos. And with regard to that, I’m reading Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined, which strongly reminds me that one of the key ingredients for low levels of violence is a stable nation-state with strong borders, a reliable legal system. Add in our American constitutional notions of due process of law and individual liberty, and you’ve got the best possible living situation if you wish to be free of violence.
Rain. The rain finally came to Northern California yesterday, quenching the fires and cleaning the air. I am so grateful.
Being an American. If you want to know what real privilege is, it’s not about being born white or male or whatever other mantra Proggies are now claiming. It’s about being born American. A constitutional America is the greatest place in the world in which to live.
Freedom from want. Mr. Bookworm and I both grew up in financially struggling households. Both of us responded by taking advantage of the American educational system and working very hard. Indeed, Mr. Bookworm works so hard that I only do legal work for friends in need. Thanks to him, I was able to raise my children myself in a household that was never without food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and all the things that make life comfortable. I am very grateful for that.
Health. My joints are creaking and groaning their way into late middle age, but the important thing is that I am truly blessed with good health. Another friend learned just this week that she has the big “C.” Her prognosis is excellent, but she’s still scared. I have absolute faith, though, that she’ll recover, as have almost all of my friends who have been stricken with cancer. A combination of excellent medical care and the strong practical and emotional support system that characterizes my community leads to very good outcomes.
My community. I’ve boasted before that I live in “Leave it to Beaver-ville.” Whether it’s the holiday parties that bring us together or caring for friends who are ill, I couldn’t live in a tighter, more supportive environment. We are truly a village, not because some overarching government entity insists that we are, but because we are people with shared values who genuinely care about each other. We raised our children together and, now that most of them are grown up, we still take care of each other.
My children. I don’t think my Little Bookworms will set the world on fire, but they’ve grown into people I truly respect. They have good values, they’re kind, they work hard, and I am quite proud of them.
My friends. I was an odd child, someone who nowadays would probably have been diagnosed with mild Asperger’s syndrome. I was also not a very nice child, because my parents, immigrants who had rather awful childhoods and young adulthoods through the Depression and WWII, had values that centered on hard work, respect for rules, and staying out of trouble. Being nice was not on the list. I’ve worked hard over the last twenty years to be a nice person, with some success. Combine that hard-earned niceness with the fact that adults are much more tolerant of eccentricity than children are and — voila! — I have friends, very, very good friends.
Some of my friends are here, in the real world with me. I feel so fortunate when I go walking with them, dine out with them, meet them at parties, talk politics with them, or any other activities that allow me to be with these very good, very nice, very interesting people. Some of them are even conservatives!
And speaking of conservatives, I cannot even begin to describe how rich my world is since I began blogging. Every one of you who comes here enriches my life. Even those of you with whom I disagree, provided that you are polite and not insulting, obscene, or otherwise offensive, provide interesting ideas and force me to defend my beliefs. In this, I am more fortunate than Proggies, who get mentally flabby in their media and blogosphere echo chambers.
The thing about engaging with all of you in the world of ideas is that I truly feel that we touch each other at a deeper level than ordinary friendships. Sure, we’re not getting together and chit-chatting about work and child-rearing, and I don’t know what most of you look like, but we’re engaging in fascinating discussions about issues fundamental to life, to politics, to faith, to national security, and all sorts of other, endlessly interesting things.
I’m afraid to name names lest I forget someone important to me. I think, though, that you guys and gals know who you are. You’re the ones whom I’ve been fortunate enough to meet in real life, the ones with whom I have fascinating email, Facebook, Twitter, and comment exchanges over the years, and the ones who have introduced me to ideas and even activities I never dreamed of before meeting you. I’m am endlessly grateful for your presence in my life.
So a very happy Thanksgiving to every one of you. Thank you so much for being among the blessings that I count. When I sit down to my Thanksgiving feast tonight, I will know that I am one lucky woman in so many ways.