To quote fellow conservative secularist Heather McDonald, “The problem for the nonbeliever is not that there is no one to thank for our good fortune but that there are more targets of gratitude than we can possibly acknowledge.” So rather than even attempt to enumerate the people who deserve thanks, let me highlight a few things for which I am grateful, and extend my hopes that similar blessings are present in the lives of my Readers, too:
- Neither I nor anyone I know was traveling in Mumbai to be shot or taken hostage. It’s a violent, dangerous world and we Americans are fortunate to be largely isolated from that. I hope that the survivors of the attack recover quickly and get home safely. I also hope the shitheads who attacked them are brought to justice.
- I’ve been blessed with good friends and family, a job appropriate to my talents and skills, a roof over my head, and food on my plate. I need want for nothing that is important in life. A lot of people are not so fortunate as I.
- My family, and especially my parents, taught me right from wrong and how to be a productive member of society. And how to appreciate that those things are rewards in themselves.
- I live in a free society, one in which I am not compelled to worship a God I don’t believe in, governed by a Constitutional system which largely restrains the coercive power of the government and largely fulfills its promise of self-government and guaranteeing the rights of its citizens. And, when it falls short of those ideals, I am free to point that out and encourage corrective action.
- Opportunities for travel and education have abounded in my life and I’ve availed myself of most of them. This has dramatically expanded my view of the world and made me a better person.
- A wonderful, beautiful, and ever-fascinating woman has chosen to spend her life with me. For that more than anything I am continually astounded at my good fortune.
Have a good Thanksgiving, everyone.