I know many people are depressed, stressed, and angered by the results of this election, and aren’t in the mood for giving thanks, but the fact that we live in arguably the freest and most prosperous country in the world means we still have so much to give thanks for. So, what are you thankful for? I’ll start. The following are all the things I’m thankful for this Thanksgiving. I’m probably missing a few but that’s ok. This is very personal but I’m an open book, because life is way too short to worry about the judgments of others, particularly those who don’t know you.
1)For my food, clothes, and shelter, which millions of people in the world don’t have.
2)For my family and friends, who’ve helped me get through some tough times.
3)For my Catholic faith, which has helped me grow closer to God. Jesus’ presence in the Eucharist has particularly been a source of strength and hope for me during moments of weakness.
4)For my health problems, which have made me stronger, humbler, and more mature, and have taught me who my true friends are, as well as the value of suffering. They’ve also helped me learn how to see everything through God’s eyes instead of mine. That completely transforms you and your life.
5)For having a church nearby that I can visit whenever I want, where I can go to pray and be at peace.
6)For my apartment, which is perfect for me in so many ways, which I don’t believe is a coincidence.
7)For the abilities God gave me, limited as they are.
8)For the mistakes and failures I’ve had in my life, because I’ve learned from them and wouldn’t be the man I am today without them.
9)For having a bus system that’s so convenient and gets me where I need to go.
10)For having the freedom to practice my faith whenever and wherever I want, when so many people around the world are being persecuted for theirs, especially Christians in places like China, Africa, and the Middle East. We really take this freedom for granted, and we shouldn’t.
11)For the amazing people I’ve met on Twitter, who’ve made me laugh, educated me, and have been a source of solidarity for conservative Christians.
12)For all the trolls and haters- you keep reminding me of what I don’t wanna become.
13)For all the people who are smarter, better educated, and more talented than me- you keep me humble and remind me that everything I have is from God, and not to become arrogant or prideful, because there will always be someone who is smarter or better than you at something.
14)For Trump and this insane election, because he’s unintentionally revealed the character of many. He’s also forced conservatives to clarify their own beliefs and grow stronger backbones in the face of adversity.
15)For my education, both formal and informal, which has taught me how to engage in critical thinking, while being open minded. It’s helped me to become the independent thinker I am today. It was an opportunity that millions of kids around the world never get.
16)For being poor most of my life- it’s taught me how to be frugal and to appreciate the little things in life, without obsessing over how much money I have, my possessions, or my social status. It’s helped me learn how to prioritize things in life and not take myself too seriously.
17)For growing up without a father- it forced me to learn how to do things on my own and to be independent, and it helped me to empathize with other young people who also were disadvantaged by their circumstances in life.
18)For my customer service jobs in the past that helped me learn how to deal with difficult people and to grow a thick skin. They also taught me how to have patience, and to see the good in people, no matter what they say and do in any given moment.
19)For the failed relationships I’ve had- they’ve taught me what I look for and value in friends and a significant other, and also what I want to avoid. They’ve also revealed what my strengths and weaknesses are, and what I need to change in my life.
20)Most of all, I’m thankful for the fact that I have a relationship with a God who loves us so much He sent His only Son to Earth to become one of us and to die on the Cross so we could have a chance to live in peace and happiness with Him for all eternity.