My Seven Reasons to be Thankful

Purple Sunbird

I woke up this morning and, as is the addiction, logged-in to the world. My social media was crowded with Thanksgiving messages. It felt good. So many revelations of gratitude. So many different reasons to be thankful. And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.

  1. While showering, I shivered when the hot water option failed. I cursed at the dis-comfort of the steady and strong torrent of a cool shower. Yet today, 780 million people – about one in nine – lack access to clean water. More than twice that many, 2.5 billion people, don’t have access to a toilet. That is nearly 35% of the world-population. Every third fellow habitat has no access to a toilet. No access to running water. And here I was missing my hot-water-on-tap. I hid my face in the towel and muttered a quite thank-you.
  2. Some days back, while researching income inequality, I reached the website ‘How Rich Am I‘. And discovered how rich I was. Astoundingly rich. Embarrassingly so. And while money can’t guarantee love, it provides access. And takes away access from those not so rich. Now I know, it will be ugly greed to dare and yodel if i was a rich-man anymore.
  3. My riches have been accumulated through wages that a job with a global organization provides. And this job was acquired by displaying knowledge and a network fueled by education that is privileged. Unfortunately today, even basic simple education remains a luxury. Nearly a billion people … (are) unable to read a book or sign their names and two thirds of them are women. And they will live, as now, in more desperate poverty and poorer health than those who can. They are the world’s functional illiterates—and their numbers are growing.
  4. I am lucky to have friends. Amongst them, there are many who are doctors of medicine. Not only do I have friends but I am friends with Doctors with access to quality healthcare. Although the percentage of the world’s population without access to essential medicines has fallen from an estimated 37% in 1987 to around 30% in 1999, the total number of people without access remains between 1.3 and 2.1 billion people. Lack of access is particularly concentrated in Africa and India.I am so thankful that when needed, I will be able to get treated by the best.
  5. I was the youngest amongst my siblings. And it was fun. I am not sure if my parents made a conscious choice of having four but my wife and I consciously agreed on two. Imagine not having this choice. The choice to procreate or not. The choice to give birth – once or many more times. And therefore, I am delighted that China will have an estimated 2 million to 3 million more babies each year, thanks to the latest relaxation of the country’s long-standing one-child policy. 
  6. I love visiting temples, churches, mosques and other places of worship. And I visit these places of worship to witness people – not gods. It is in these halls, rooms, caves, gardens that I witness the best of humanity. The believer’s belief in the supreme, in charity, in faith, in goodness, in the purity of giving. But God is not an absolute nor is he everywhere: nearly 70 percent of the world … live in countries with high restrictions on religion, the brunt of which often falls on religious minorities.
  7. And it feels good to have crossed the nadir of the U-curve. Research has shown that as people move towards old age they lose things they treasure—vitality, mental sharpness and looks—they also gain what people spend their lives pursuing: happiness. And this research has been validated by a recent giant telephone poll of 340,000 people showed that after 50, people start progressively getting happier.At 52, I am happy to agree.

theyeahway: with each day, in many small ways, it is getting better. All the time. For you. By you?


2 thoughts on “My Seven Reasons to be Thankful

  1. Well written Sanjeev.My personal favourite is No 7—Happiness. I feel I am a more contented and happier person now than I was a few years back. I do wonder and reflect as to why that is so.Is it coz I have matured as a person or perhaps its because I take things willingly in my stride? Could it be self acceptance or am I just grateful for Gods most wonderful gift,a loving family ? I guess when I think about it, its a combination of all the above as well as the fact that I’m just HAPPY to be HAPPY.

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