Giving thanks for 2019: from personal to politics

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Another year is slowly coming to an end. Honestly, I feel like NYE 2019 was just yesterday. A lot has happened this year, both personally, and in the world. I thought I’d give thanks and jot down some of those things that I’m grateful for.

Personal thanks

I’m thankful for so many things.

There’s the standard, and definitely most important:

  • My family is healthy
  • I have a stable job
  • I have a great group of friends and support system

Then I’m thankful for things for which I’m extremely lucky:

  • I bought a new house!
  • I have the ability to travel anywhere I want, whenever I want
  • I have a blog that I enjoy and people who actually support it and read it haha 🙂 shoutout to you guys, you’re the best
  • I can afford healthcare
  • I have no debt except for my mortgage
  • I can save most of my paycheck, even after paying off bills and investing

Then there’s things which I have, that people in some parts of the world can only dream of:

  • The ability to walk down the street, alone, as a female, and feel safe
  • The freedom to wear anything I want and live in a society that may stare and judge, but ultimately will leave me be
  • Access to higher education
  • The ability to say what I think without serious repercussion
  • A career that allows for growth and advancement, with no thought to me being a female minority

Giving thanks for our society and country as a whole

I know that politics, medicine and racism are all hot topics nowadays. I’ve heard so many people say that they are ready to move to another country, that they are embarrased to be here now. Those thoughts have definitely crossed my mind as well. However, let me tell you, as bad as you think we have it here, we are still extremely lucky to be where we are.

Let me explain

Thankful for the basics:

  • Fresh, clean, reliable, running water. I mean it’s safe for your animals to drink TOILET water. For a good chunk of the world, their toilet is outside in a river, and someone down stream is gathering the same water for their family to drink.
  • Electricity that actually works
  • Access to food and shelter–trust me, a homeless person in a third world country, literally has nothing. I’ve seen kids walking around naked because all they have is themselves.

Thankful for this president.

Before you leave my website and put it on your shitlist, again, let me explain.

I in no way agree with him or his decisions. I was horrified that he got elected. HOWEVER, I think his time in office has opened the eyes of everyone in this country. Racism has always been here, we just didn’t think it was; he brought it out into the open. The wealth gap has always been present; yet, his policy changes and his own wealth have shed more light on it. Our role at the world table on major climate and economic issues has always been a strong one, yet as a country, we’ve also always done the least compared to other nations to reduce our carbon foot print. The fact that he’s actually pulled out of conversations and refused to take part, has again highlighted the need for our presence.

Everything he has done, yes is terrible, but it has also opened the eyes of so many people, and started the conversation on so many topics. How can you address racism if you don’t think it exists in your country, or see it happening in front of you? You think America became racist because he’s president? Nope. I’ve been on the receiving end of it my whole life. It has always been around, just never in the open: until now. How can you fix something if you don’t know it’s a problem?

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not happy that these things are happening. I’m saying I’m thankful that we are talking about them and addressing them.

You may not agree with that I’m saying and that’s fine. You don’t have to agree. That’s another issue that I see all the time. Disagreeing with someone doesn’t mean that they are the enemy. Instead, I think it should be seen as an opportunity to learn why someone disagrees and why they think differently. There’s always a “why”, and no it’s not always that “they’re crazy”.

Thankful for the opporunity to change

If there’s anything we need to take away from this current political climate, it’s that we have an opporunity to make huge changes. We know now what our underlying problems really are, and we also have recognized the power in our votes.

Thankful for my freedom of speech

I can only say what I’m saying in this article, in this blog, because this country gives me the right to. I’m free to express my opinion, just as you are. Just as anyone else is. It is definitely harder now because social media makes it so easy to judge from a safe distance and spew hate. But again, living in America we are extremely lucky that we don’t the serious consequences such as jail time and execution for free speech.

Overall, it’s been a year of ups and downs, but at the end of the day, we have a lot to be thankful for. No matter how bad we think we have it, someone has it worse. Somewhere in the world, people are living in terrible conditions.

So take a moment and recognize what you DO have versus what you don’t. Gratitude is exactly that, and we have a lot to be grateful for.

What are some things you’d like to give thanks for this year? Comment below!

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