On Thankfulness

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The uniqueness of the time in which we live, the short decades we will grace this planet, is something to not to take for granted but to take hold of and throw ourselves into. The lives of most of those in the world is better than at any other time in history with lower rates of disease, longer lives, and greater opportunities than at any other time in history. Although we must be careful lest we be accused of chronological snobbery, we can, with confidence based on quantifiable measures, say that the majority of the world is living in circumstances better than at any other time in the past.

As many live in these historically optimal conditions, it is easy to take for granted the trappings and trimmings of modern society. During the summer I have caught myself thinking, although I would never voice this, that air conditioning is something I deserve, not a benefit I enjoy. The same can be true of clean water delivered directly to my residence, a truck to take refuse away once a week, and a handful of antibiotics or antivirals when I become ill. Conversely I have recently also caught myself wishing for more- newer electronics, larger numbers on my bank statements, and other such ‘toys’. As I thought more about what live would have been like even a century before, desires for ‘new and more’ fades, replaced by thankfulness for what I have and the opportunities I have been given. Today and everyday, let us be thankful for all that we have.

“And having food and clothes, with these we shall be content.”


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