Thankful on Thanksgiving

I’m thankful on Thanksgiving. Hell, I’m thankful on any day I wake up and see I’m still alive. I don’t really need a particular day to be grateful for some very simple things.

For instance, I’m grateful that I have food to eat every day, food of my own choosing, food that is healthy. Many in this country don’t and not just around this time of the year.

While millions are prepared to go out and spend millions on Christmas, millions of others line up for food. I am so very grateful that I don’t have to do this.

ethan holmes food bank line thanksgiving

The other day I was standing in a line at a grocery store and I watched as multiple patrons of the store became upset that they had to spend more than two minutes in the line to pay for their groceries. It occurred to me that perhaps they should be more grateful, thankful that they did not have to stand in the line above. Perhaps they should be thankful they don’t have to go hungry. They can literally walk into any one of the giant stores and buy anything they choose, eat it before they get out the door or take it home and cook it up in minutes. We go buy a package of tilapia at Costco, people in Bangladesh do this. Say thank you.

 

Harvesting prawns in the pond of Halim and his wife Aklima Begum in the village of Molmolia, Dumvnia, Khulna, Bangladesh. The boy is Solaiman, the sone of Halim. Halim hires this crew of men to pull the net through their pond next to their house to collect the prawns. The prawns are extremely valuable, so the family never eats them, instead selling them on the market where they probably end up in the European market. On average a family will net something like $1500-2000 a year from prawns.  Contact for Agricultural Information: Timothy Russell Email:  t.russell@irri.org Phone: +880 2 989  8011  Mobile: 01766931971 IRRI Bangladesh House 9, Road 2/2 Banani, Dhaka 1213 Bangladesh Other IRRI: Bushra Rahman Manager, Communications and Documentation IRRI Bangladesh Office House 9, Road 2/2 Banani, Dhaka 1213 Bangladesh Phone: +880 2 989  8011  +88 2 988 6608 Ext. 104 Mobile: +880 1911 746 250 Email:  b.rahman@irri.org Field Locations for IRRI: A.K.M. Ferdous  Email : a.ferdous@irri.org Cell: +8801715026458 General Contact for WorldFish: Afrina Choudhury Portfolio Support Coordinator/ Gender Specialist T: +880-2- 8813250 M: +88 017 154 893 418 House 22B, Rd 7, Block F, Banani F: +880-2-8811151 1213 Dhaka, Bangladesh skype: afrina.choudhury www.worldfishcenter.org Field Locations for WorldFish: Ashoke Kumar Sarker  AK.Sarker@cgiar.org Cell: +8801711375573

It’s not just about the food though. It’s about a lot of things that occur to me. For instance, I was lying in bed one morning briefly pondering getting up and facing a hard work day. (Yes, I work hard when I’m not writing. I do stuff that would make most people crumple into a ball and die.) I looked up at the ceiling and closed one eye. Don’t know why, I just did. Suddenly I am saying ‘thank you’ that I have two eyes. Losing an eye cuts your vision in half. Half your world goes away. Your depth perception is gone. It’s disconcerting to say the least and if something happens you’ve got one eye left and then it’s blindness. There’s no spare. Thank you.

That lead me to think that I should also be grateful no one comes and lifts me out of bed into a wheel chair every day. I just roll and put two good legs on the floor. Thank you.

I found myself watching traffic on the way to work and laughing at the self-entitled, selfish, impatient goofballs who dash past and cut other drivers off in a desperate attempt to get just one more car ahead or run the red lights at intersections. I was thinking it might be nice if all these drivers were a bit more grateful that they have cars and the motorized ability to go wherever they please any time they please. You don’t have to walk, you don’t have to take a urine stained city bus, you don’t have to pay a cab. Say thank you. Better yet, say ‘thank you’ and let someone in front of you, wave them out of a parking lot, slow down and let them in when they are signaling a lane change. You don’t need a day like Thanksgiving to do it.

I am thankful for my health, for the food in my cabinets and refrigerator, the vehicle that starts up on a cold morning and keeps me warm on the way to work and the simple fact that I have a roof over my head and four walls around me. (I’ve had a time or two when that wasn’t so.)

I am grateful on this so-called Thanksgiving Day that I am alive despite the fact that life, at times, can be difficult and lonely. I am thankful on Thanksgiving that I don’t have to buy $800 worth of prescription medication every month to get through the days. I am grateful for all the huge stores nearby where one can get anything they wish as long as they can pay for it. I say thank you that I can go to the gym to work out my frustrations and be a healthier person. Thank you for my readers who take time out of their busy lives to read a thing or two or buy my books. Thank you that there’s even a way to do any of that.

I suppose it would not be such a bad thing to see Thanksgiving banished. What if we were all thankful on Thanksgiving and every other day of the year? What if we stood on a mountain, took a deep breath and said thank you just for being able to do that?

I’m still going to be thankful on Thanksgiving, regardless of the fact that, for me at least, it is no different than any other day of the year. I’m not going anywhere, I am not even going to see another human being today. Such is the nature of my so-called holidays. Nevertheless, I am going to be thankful, tomorrow.

Ethan Holmes is the author of six books including his latest novel, Water.

water-cover-5A

Water is on sale for the holidays. It’s available for all ereaders/tablets and other devices as well as in paperback. Don’t forget to pick up your free ebook copy of Shorts and Other Laundry too. It’s a collection of short stories from the slightly askew brain of Ethan Holmes.

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About Ethan Holmes

Ethan Holmes currently resides in Northern Arizona and he is the author of seven published books; Earth's Blood, The Keystone, A Multi-Pack of Brain Flakes, Shorts and Other Laundry, Live Your Life In A Crap Free Zone, Water. and his new novella, The Town of Perfect. When he is not writing Ethan is also a professional freelance nature photographer.
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