Thanksgiving isn’t just for stuffing your face with turkey, sweet potatoes and pumpkin pie. Yes, that’s definitely a part of it -- and we love it -- but Thanksgiving was created as a way to force Americans to take a moment and to go over all they should be thankful for.
Unfortunately, I don’t believe most people even bother to take the time to celebrate the holiday in the way that it was meant to be celebrated.
Our generation especially has a whole lot to be thankful for. Of course, generalizing an entire generation will always lead to problems, but it’s safe to say that those who are a part of Generation-Y and are privileged have a whole bunch to be thankful for.
Just consider the fact that many Generation-Yers are struggling to make it to tomorrow morning. Just about every one of you reading this has it very, very good.
But do you appreciate all that you have? Do you appreciate everything that you were lucky enough to avoid?
Here’s a list of 50 things that will hopefully help you understand why Thanksgiving was created in the first place:
1. The fact that we live in an age where even the average Joe can make something of him or herself.
2. The fact that the world has shrunk to such a small size that we can create significant, positive change on a global scale.
3. The awesome technology we have.
4. The potential for an even greater, more prosperous future.
5. Being able to go to the store and buy food -- many of the previous generations didn’t have such a luxury.
6. Not having to work real manual labor -- soon that will be entirely left to the machines.
7. Having access to all the information in the world at a click of a button.
8. The ability to travel around the world with ease.
9. We should be thankful for whatever natural wonders the previous generations haven’t yet destroyed.
10. Our families.
11. Our friends.
12. Having a large enough and mature enough perspective to be able to truly appreciate what they mean to us.
13. A job -- many still struggle finding a way to make money; if you’re not one of those people then thank your lucky stars.
14. Having a place to sleep.
15. Having food to eat and water to drink.
16. Being safe -- millions of people fear for their lives every hour of every day.
17. Being capable of becoming anything we want to be.
18. The generations of art.
19. The generations of music.
20. The fact that we can communicate with just about anyone, anywhere.
21. The fact that we can make and keep friends from all around the world.
22. The fact that we can be sexually open and not be persecuted or killed for it.
23. The fact that we aren’t wearing chains around our wrists and ankles, being forced into slavery.
24. Having access to education.
25. Having access to financial resources.
26. Having parents who care about you.
27. Having a partner who loves you and will do just about anything for you.
28. All the beautiful memories you made over the years.
29. All the important lessons you’ve learned.
30. All the necessary mistakes you’ve made
31. The struggle that got you to where you are today -- without it, you couldn’t appreciate what you’ve built.
32. All the pain you felt -- pain that changed you and made you into the person you are today.
33. The fact that it’s still not too late to save the planet -- the next generation may not get the opportunity.
34. The possibility that, within our lifetimes, we may get to take a trip into space our very selves.
35. Recent advances in medicine.
36. Being able to help people around the world with minimum effort and resources.
37. The Internet and all the wonderful things it allows for.
38. The transparency that is quickly becoming a standard -- not so much by choice, but we’ll take it however we can get it.
39. Contraceptives that (usually) work.
40. All the great individuals who changed our lives and continue to inspire us.
41. All those individuals who work to make your life better, even though they never personally met you.
42. All those more intelligent than yourself who innovate for a better tomorrow.
43. All those who aren’t lazy and pick up the slack for all those who are happy with piggybacking on the work of others.
44. Be thankful for being yourself, for being alive. You won the lottery simply by existing.
45. Be thankful for all the horrible things that never happened to you. Not everyone can say the same.
46. The fact that you are likely to live much longer than generations before you. Time is the most valuable resource.
47. Your health and your intellect -- the two most important qualities of any individual.
48. The ability to make the world of our children and grandchildren an even better place.
49. (Hopefully) being wise enough to realize that we ought to be thankful for all this that we have.
50. (Hopefully) being wise enough to make sure we hold on to all the incredible privileges and opportunities we now have.