Column: Many reasons to be thankful

I’ve always enjoyed Thanksgiving in America, because it reminds everyone to be thankful. Just go to
any home onTurkey
Thanksgiving Day and you will meet people who are thankful —
thankful they have an opportunity, in this great country, to stuff themselves
with food. Yes, many people spend the entire day being thankful.

wish everyone around the world could be just as thankful — and not just once
a year. There are many reasons to be thankful.
Here are just a few:

Be thankful if you have food on your plate, if
you aren’t constantly hungry, if you don’t lick your lips whenever
you spot your neighbor’s Chihuahua.

Be thankful if you have an unlimited supply of water, if your plants don’t have to be that thirsty, if your children don’t have to be that dirty.

Be thankful if you enjoy freedom
of speech, if you can write a book portraying the president as a horse’s
behind, if you don’t have to extricate the book from yours.

Be thankful if you have freedom of worship, if you
can attend a church, temple or mosque without any fear, if no one stones you when you wear your "Elvis is king" T-shirt.

Be thankful if you’re smarter than the average
teen, if you can find Oman, Sudan, Kenya and Samoa on a world map, if
you don’t think they’re parts of speech, as in: "Oman, I’m Sudan tired!
Kenya give me Samoa water?"

Be thankful if you have health insurance or free health care, if
you can see a doctor anytime you wish, if your doctor isn’t sitting in front of a web camera in Bangalore.

Be thankful
if you don’t face discrimination, if the country club doesn’t reject you
because of the color of your skin, if the attractive musician doesn’t reject you because
of the color of your teeth.

Be thankful if you have a loving family,
if they accept you the way you are, if they’re willing to forget the
way you were.

Be thankful if you have no serious addictions, if you
can survive an entire week without smoking, drinking or gambling, if
you show no signs of withdrawal, not even when visiting the bank.

thankful if you have a decent job, if it comes with many benefits, if the
boss touching you isn’t one of them.

thankful if you have a roof over your head, if it’s wide enough to
cover your belongings, if it’s long enough to cover your toes.

Be thankful if you have a means of transportation, if you can
take your family anywhere they want, if you sometimes feel like a preacher, saving their soles.

Be thankful if you’re able to help others, if you can afford to feed or educate a child, if you can do it without a court order.

Be thankful if you’re a human being, if you’re ready for Thanksgiving dinner, if you’re sitting at the table, not on it.

Photo by xybermatthew

Most of this column originally appeared in 2002.

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through and You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.


  1. Awesome. Thanks. Just what I needed. I now have several reasons to be thankful. -A

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