Gratitude: It's worth the experience
Sitting on my front porch, working on perfecting my geezer act and enjoying yet another cup of coffee, I am suddenly overwhelmed with gratitude.
I am grateful for many things. I am grateful for being able to reside in a place of my own choosing and to live a lifestyle that satisfies most of my needs. As I grow older, I am really grateful to live where the weather is quite mild, in both summer and winter, as opposed to another time and place where the snow would drift over the top of my house. I enjoy simply being alive, as there were many times when that possibility seemed quite remote. I am grateful to still recognize the difference between right and wrong. There were times in my past and in the completion of my assigned tasks, when that line got pretty vague.
I have had the great privilege of living in a period of almost incomprehensible change. I have seen most childhood diseases wiped out. Transportation has advanced from slow and unreliable cars to air conditioned, comfortable and safe autos capable of driving at more than twice the legal speed limit. The moon in the night sky has gone from being a thing for lovers to wish upon, to a place where men have trod. Our health care system, like it or not, is at a point where many illnesses are now merely an inconvenience rather than a death sentence. Most of us live in quarters that are relatively comfortable, heated in winter and cooled in summer. True hunger is almost an unknown in our time. I still remember seeing my first electric light and I remember marveling at the first refrigerator in my parents’ home.
I am immensely grateful to live in a time and place where political discourse is not yet forbidden, even if we think opposing views are dangerous damned foolishness. I have witnessed numerous wars, “police actions,” and other conflicts of various forms. I have lost and mourned many friends in those disagreements. I have seen the faces of hatred and despair. At the end of it all, I am still free to voice my opinions and to write things such as this. I am free to worship if and when I please and in any fashion I choose, without fear of interference of punishment.
I am grateful to be a part of a community that is full of friendly, outgoing and helpful people who are mostly committed to making this a better place to live and raise families. It is a wonderful feeling to live in a place where people live together harmoniously and productively. This is a place where people come together in times of crisis and those in need of help seldom experience anything but short term need. Few places in this world can even come close to offering such comforts and peace of mind as we enjoy every day.
For all these things, I am grateful.