In class just the other day we were discussing what we were thankful for. It’s a conversation everyone has around this time of year and the same generic answers come up. “I’m thankful for my family.” “I am thankful for my friends.” “I am thankful for my freedom. “…food.”
Okay right about now you are probably dozing off because even though these may be true, they are the most overused statements EVER. Do you remember those crafts we used to do in grade school? You would trace your hand on some brown paper, cut it out, and it would make the shape of a turkey. Then you would take all these colored feathers and write what you were thankful for. The things you wrote on them would be an assortment of the ones listed above and Jesus, Hannah Montana, or pop tarts. As kids we really didn’t know what it meant to be truly thankful for something. Back then, you just wrote down stuff that you liked and said you were thankful for it.
Nowadays you are pretty much expected to dig a little deeper than that. Think about this: How many times have you heard someone say that they are thankful for the opportunity to go to school? I’m just going to go out on a limb and say that you have probably never heard anyone say that. But if you really think about, that right there is a pretty legitimate thing to be thankful for. Children all over the world dream about finally getting the opportunity to go to school and yet kids in the United States, me included, complain about school on the daily.
What if we did a kid swap? What if we took children from a place where they are unable to go to school and swap them with some more privileged kids from the United States? How different would the U.S. children’s perspective be after they couldn’t go to school because they were walking six miles just to get semi-clean drinking water? Or because they were working all day just trying to make a mere dollar of pay for the day? Do you think they would be more thankful for the chance to go to school when they came back home? Can you imagine the looks of pure joy on the underprivileged children’s faces when they hear that they get to go the school? Doesn’t that make you smile?
Now I’m going to leave you with one last question: What are you really thankful for?