I labored long as to how I would write this opinion. I decided to merely write that which I think about often and am thankful for every day. I think about how lucky I am through accident of birth to enjoy a warm shower, to brush my teeth, and to have indoor plumbing. I am thankful for these simple things which much of the world does not have and things we often take for granted. These things keep us safe, clean and free from disease. In another time or place this would not be so.
Yes, I am thankful, too, for the garbage collectors, for selfless firemen and police who like doctors keep us safe from that which could destroy us. I am thankful for a country which, although divided, manages to still govern transferring power bloodlessly. I am thankful for our country’s Founding Fathers who wrote documents so prescient and so well written that we still celebrate their genius centuries after our nation’s birth. I am thankful for Lady Liberty symbolically lighting the way for ships carrying men and women like my grandfathers and grandmothers who would have died with all the other Jews of Nazi-infected Europe.
How lucky I am that in my extended family there are two doctors, one speech therapist, one Harvard graduate, one Wellesley graduate, one Stanford Medical and Johns Hopkins graduate, one in the White House, and others whose successes are too numerous to mention. I am lucky to have wonderful family and friends whose intellect I value and whose advice I cherish. I am lucky to have family who continued the line of my grandparents by raising wonderful children some of whom have had their own children extending the line further still.
I am lucky to have been born in a nation where even sixty years ago accorded me excellent treatment for polio, a disease which often deforms avoiding that deformity by receiving the best care even without a national healthcare plan. I am thankful for that. I am thankful that my father went to law school, made a living, bought a house, bought many cars and never could have dreamed that life possible for a Jew anywhere else on earth. I am thankful for all those things.
I am thankful my father bestowed upon me a love of history, a love of FDR, and a love of country. Although we had many policy disagreements we both shared a love of that. I am so thankful for the education I received, for the colleges I attended, for the many teaches and professors who shaped my education and my political views. I am thankful I can write and say most anything I please without the fear of a knock at the door or prison without trial. I am thankful for all those things. I am thankful to live in a nation blessed by geography which has allowed it to prosper and which allows me to hope a warless nation continues to be its fate. I am thankful that change of policy is possible without violence and that I can continue to hope for the change of its foreign policy as well.
I am thankful I bore witness to the election and then the re-election of the first African American president along with Massachusetts’s first brilliant woman senator. I am thankful for all the civil liberties I enjoy that allowed me to find a partner of my choice and realize things which were once beyond my capacity to hope. I am thankful for fate giving me a window to the beauty of the planet and the span of man’s history upon it. I hope that I, in some small way, can contribute to the easing of suffering through political policy that can make it so.
For all these things I am eternally grateful and why the national holiday of Thanksgiving is my favorite holiday of all.