I said when I started this project that it was ultimately about my trying to learn how to live a good life. I went through a lot of pains to try to come up with categories that I thought went into that, like Resilience, and Reflecting, and Sharing, but you never think of everything up front: One I forgot was Gratitude.
I have been incredibly fortunate in this life. I’ve swam in both oceans. Seen other countries. Ate Michelin starred food. Been published in National and International publications. I have a row of books on my shelves in which I’m quoted. There are at least a couple of dozen people alive right now because of work I’ve done, that would most likely not be had I not done it. I have lectured at Graduate schools and Seminaries. Read at least 8,000 books. Seen works of art that stagger the mind. There are several nonprofits around the country doing amazing work whose origin story includes my work. My wife and I helped raise more than a dozen kids, including six that lived with us when they didn’t have anywhere else to go. My refrigerator is covered with pictures of friends from all over the world, who live on every continent but Antarctica. My wife loves me and together we have faced down death, tragedy, slander, depression and suicidal ideation and we came out the other side intact. I’ve exceeded every expectation anybody ever had for a working class kid from Marshall County, MS.
If it all ended tomorrow, I don’t see how I would have any complaint at all. My life has been amazing. And it seems to me that, in light of all that, the only proper response to it all is gratitude.
There is a popular meme on Social Media where people note the things for which they are thankful, one a day for the 30 days of November. I have often meant to participate in this, but being the ADHD-riddled Chaos Muppet I am, incapable of advance planning, I forget until we are halfway through the month.
This time, I remembered. But as often happens with me, once I started writing, I had a hard time stopping. So while other people would write, “I’m grateful for books!” I wrote 1,000 words talking about how grateful I am for books. So I decided I would post the series here on the blog – a post a day for the rest of November.
As always, I would to know what you are grateful for, either in the comments here or on one of the social sites where this blog is shared.