What am I thankful for?
I’m thankful that I can crush my enemies and see them flee before me, that I can take their horses and belongings and hear the lamentations of their women.
Okay, I’m not thankful for that today but 1,000 years ago I probably would have been. Today, I am thankful that we do not have to repeat the mistakes and evils of our ancestors but that we can go forth to make our own, hopefully lesser, mistakes.
I thank with brief thanksgiving
Whatever gods may be
That no life lives for ever;
That dead men rise up never;
That even the weariest river
Winds somewhere safe to sea.
If it is sad that good people do not live forever, it is joyful that evil ones do not as well. I think Shakespeare’s Anthony was wrong and it is the evil that men do that is (eventually) interred with their bones. The good we leave behind accumulates over the generations. This would not happen if everything lived forever. So, I am thankful that nothing lasts forever and that things and people change. I am thankful even when that change is death.
I am thankful that the preacher of Ecclesiastes was literally wrong and that there are new things under the sun and that each day brings some new wonder to explore. I am thankful that, even if he was correct in his metaphor that human nature never changes, then at least we can change how we act on the impulses that come from that nature.
I am thankful that I live in America, where each morning is the beginning of the great tomorrow promised yesterday. I am thankful that I have the right to strive, to experiment and to improve. I am thankful I have the right to fail, to fall and get back up again.
Most of all, I am thankful that I know to be thankful for these things.