thank·ful adj 1. feeling or expressing gratitude 2. glad or relieved about something
It is an annual tradition almost as sacred as the event being commemorated. American journalists compose miles of columnar space and hours of broadcast editorial commentary expressing their heartfelt appreciation for the freedoms over which we spend the other 364 (or 365 if it’s Leap Year) days each year arguing.
Occasionally I am asked to recite that for what I am thankful. When I am asked to choose which among my many blessings I consider to be at the forefront, I pause to collect my thoughts. Because we live in a microwave society in which everyone is expected to have a pithy reply for any situation, my hesitation can easily be mistaken for a lack of thankfulness. Far from an absence of gratitude, my hesitation is because my blessings are far too numerous to condense into 25 words or less.
Reality reveals that a list of things for which I am thankful would read something like a passage from Proverbs with qualifiers that may seem to offset one another. It isn’t that my blessings come with conditions, but more that life experiences tell me to be thankful for the good while recognizing that there is always something lurking in the shadows that will snatch the good away without so much as a moment’s notice.