Gratitude

I suppose it is a bit cliche to list the things to be thankful for but I just find myself reflecting on what seems to be a very good year for me. This year was the tipping point for me and I knew that coming into it. I felt it was a make or break year for both my career and my personal life. I am so very grateful for those people in my life that helped me achieve the goals that I set.

Much thanks goes the my buddy for buying the house. I think that everything after that was just a domino effect. I wasn’t entirely sure that I was going to be able to pull it off but I did. I am certainly glad that I took the risks that I did, but it was the encouragement and the willingness to understand how hard things were that made selling the house to a good friend worth it all.

I am thankful for Syracuse University. Even though my employment has ended there, I can still feel the people that I used to work with and their words to me. If it wasn’t for SU I wouldn’t be where I am right now. I am good at my job because I was good there first and I was given the room to fail while still learning.

I am also so very thankful to Barnard College for the recent employment opportunity. They clearly saw things in me that other institutions decided to pass on. In the few short months there, I have learned so much about how small schools work. I am thankful for the lack of red tape that I have grown so accustomed to. More importantly, I’m glad that I am able to be back in New York because of them.

Being back home has made me realize how much I have missed family. I know that being home means I get to see them more often depending on work schedule. Now that the holidays are here, there will probably be a plethora of visits being made and a number of times that my presence is being requested. I am very grateful for that because not many people can have a big family.

I am also grateful for my dad who was like my own personal council. He may not have agreed with all the decisions that I have made this year but we can both agree that the outcome has been a long time coming. I am thankful for his presence in my life.

Right now, my life would not be anywhere near as complete if it wasn’t for my girlfriend. I am thankful that despite everything that we have been through, fate chose this particular time for us to be together. I am very doubtful that I would have been able to deal with the move and the lack of any finances if it wasn’t for her. Everyday I am thankful for her in my life.

Finally, I want to thank those of you faithfully read this blog. I am glad I am able share my experiences with you. I hope, in some way, you have been able to come with me on this journey of mine. I wish all you all a great Thanksgiving.

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A Thanksgiving Reminder

Today is a day where we (in the United States) are supposed to give thanks for everything we have. If we compare what we have with what other people in the world have then we should be giving thanks for many things, including being born in this country. There should be a certain humility to this day. Most of us have the privilege to be in the presence of vast meal and have many days of left overs to feast on. We are indeed lucky and should give thanks.

I feel the need to remind everyone about the historical significance of this day and days like this. I was very clear in my views about Columbus and the celebration of his massacre of thousands of Native people. So I think about the Wampanoag people who gave seed to the Puritans and taught them how to fish as a gesture of good faith an in honor of the end of the harvest. Back in those days, many cultures had a feast to celebrate the ending of what was hopefully a good harvest and to thank God for all they had.

Of course the Wampanoag were ravaged by disease and imperial encroachment soon after which makes me wonder why we even celebrate this day in the way we do. Historical images show how kind Native Americans were to the Pilgrims with the sharing of food and the breaking of bread and yet we have politicians who want to build an electric fence to keep “foreigners” from gaining access to this land. Imagine if the Wampanoag slaughtered those Puritans as a way to protect the harvest and their borders.

I am sure many people take this day for granted by eating and watch football while paying little attention to the poverty around us. However, I do take solace in knowing that their are people who do share their food and work in soup kitchens to feed the poor today. The question is, why do we only pick this day to volunteer when we know that poverty does not stop when Thanksgiving ends? Are we afraid that we will be like the Wampanoag and give only so much only to have the people we help take everything we have in return?

With that being said, just take time to think about how we got here. How grateful we should all be to have a table to sit at. Take time to think about the hungry children around the world. The sick people dying from diseases we cannot cure. Pray for those who have hatred in their heart because those people never find true happiness. Ponder about all the things you have before you think about all the things you want for Christmas. Be thankful for the beauty of this day when you look outside your window.

Happy Thanksgiving.