Today is Thanksgiving Day in the United States as well as a federal holiday, so rather than talk about work too much, I’ll share a couple thoughts about thankfulness and gratitude in a difficult time. Don’t worry, I’ll keep it short. I know my fellow Americans have food to eat and football to watch.
I know: we’ve all been stuck at home, often short of basic supplies like toilet paper or groceries. Some of us have lost jobs. And when 2020’s list of complaints gets old, someone will always say, “At least you’ve got your health,” which is easy to say to someone who doesn’t have COVID-19.
And yet still: here we are. The only known intelligent life in the universe (so far), managing to operate a high-technology civilization on a planet in a distant and relatively quiet part of a 400-billion-star spiral galaxy. We have the capacity to create art and admire beauty and share our greatest dreams and dearest affections. Yes, we’ve also got hatreds and wars and diseases and injustices to rattle our little world, but really it’s remarkable that we’re here at all.
So take a moment to step back from the microaggressions and minor annoyances that make life unpleasant, take a deep breath, maybe watch the sun set, and celebrate the joy of being here in the first place. It beats the alternative.