What is there to be thankful for?
Thanksgiving is a great holiday for Humanists. We are very aware of how much work it takes to get anything of value accomplished. People who get things done and make it possible for me to have a nice dinner with my family are worthy of all the accolades I can give them.
This includes farmers, truck drivers who transport food, the clever folks who once upon a time figured out how to selectively breed wild cabbage into cauliflower and broccoli, and the store clerks who make sure I can purchase said vegetables for dinner without having to devote my life to farming because there are farmers doing that service for us. I thank you all and everyone else who is involved in bringing food to the table.
I am also grateful to my parents who had the sex necessary to have me, and to my husband's parents who had the sex necessary to have him. Without them, we would not be here and my life would not be as joyous as it is. And without sex, I would not have my son, so hooray for sex.
I am also grateful for the doctors and nurses who have cared for me throughout my life and to the scientists who researched diseases so that I could be vaccinated against them. I am especially grateful to the scientists who challenged conventional wisdom to figure out that epilepsy is not caused by demonic possession and that it can be controlled with medicine and science. This is important to me because my son has epilepsy.
I am grateful for the teachers who dedicated themselves to teaching me how to read and write and to the teachers who are helping my son learn these same skills. Even though it isn't always easy, you stay at it. For that I am grateful.
I am grateful to my fellow citizens for caring enough about education that they are willing to provide a free quality education to all of the kids in our community so that our children's talents aren't wasted. I am also grateful that we have public libraries so that my son's voracious reading and learning habits can be fed. And to all of the librarians who have helped my son find the perfect book on the odd historical subject he is interested in, I thank you too.
Everyone in our society, whether I know you personally or not, contributes to our societal wellbeing in some way and keeps it functioning so that me and my family are able to live and thrive. To all of you, thank you. Keep on living and doing and contributing to society. You give us all something to be thankful for.
Jennifer Hancock, a Humanist educator is the author of several books. You can find her on the web at jen-hancock.com and on Twitter
Faith Matters is a regular feature of Saturday's Herald written by local clergy members.