Today, I’m choosing to focus on all the things I’m thankful for.
Most importantly, I’m thankful for parents who not only told me, but SHOWED me, that through hard work anything is possible. But that when you get where you’re going, you don’t forget the people who haven’t been as fortunate. Their generosity humbles me every single day. It’s through this lens that I have formed every value I hold dear. I hope I’m a sliver to my kids what they’ve been to me.
I’m thankful that I just brought my 4 year old to a school that looks like a rainbow of humanity. So that he is continued to be reminded that no matter what country you’re born in or what you look like or who you love, we’re all equal and worthy of love and respect. We’ve been treated with that same dignity when we left these shores for a new country and I’ll never forget that compassion. It changed me to my very core. But I know that the color of our skin, the money in our bank account, and the nature of our accents affected the way we were treated, and I know that for far too many immigrants those differences make their existence an incredible struggle.
I’m thankful for a husband that sees me as his equal in every way. I know now more than ever that this isn’t something to take for granted. I’m thankful for his parents who raised him in this way. I will devote myself more than ever to raising two boys into men who will stand up for women’s rights with all their hearts. And so help me God, if so-called locker room talk ever unfolds in their presence, may I have instilled in them the courage to end it.
I’m thankful I’m a part of a religious community that stands for peace, love and justice. I’m thankful for this space where I can continue to work on being my best self, as can my family.
I’m thankful for all the friends in my life. But today in particular, I’m thankful that the way I’ve lived my life has brought me friends of every sexual persuasion, race, ethnicity, religion and more. You’ve opened my eyes to just how privileged I am. And the real, genuine challenges we face. You make me want to work incredibly hard for a better world. Because it’s so very personal.
I’m thankful for the power of the pen and the freedom to travel. It’s not only been my livelihood the past 7 years but it soothes me. I hope I never lose these rights.
I’m thankful that each day I wake up and all my life’s basic needs are provided to me with little thought. Shelter. Food. Clean water. Adequate healthcare. I know this instantly makes me ridiculously privileged and fortunate. I know so many don’t have this and I hope we can all work toward changing that.
For everything I find myself thankful for today, I am renewed in my commitment to make sure all people can experience these same freedoms and joys.
I’ll continue to live my life with gratitude, open-mindedness, and love. And I’ll try harder to be the change I wish to see in this world.