With Thanksgiving right around the corner, I feel as though it is important to reflect on what it is we are most thankful for in our own lives. With the excitement and the business that surround the holiday season, which is rapidly approaching, it's important to keep in mind the true meaning of the holiday season. Throughout this special time of year, there is a strong emphasis on shopping and attending holiday parties. While these elements of the season are all well and good and make it very enjoyable, I believe it is equally as important (if not more) to take the time each day to reflect on the good things in your life that make you happy. Personally, I am thankful for many things. I am most thankful for the following things (in no particular order), and I would encourage anyone reading this article to reflect on what they are most thankful for at this special time of year.
1. My family
As I have gotten older, I have realized just how lucky I am to have the family that I have. My parents have set the most incredible example for my brother, sister, and I. They are the most supportive, selfless, helpful, and compassionate people that I know. They have shown me what is most important in life, and I am forever grateful to them for their endless love and encouragement. Over time, my two siblings have become my best friends. Though we're living in three different parts of the country and are individually going through three different stages, they are the two people that I know I will always be able to rely on. Being the middle child, I have had the luxury of learning valuable lessons from both of them. Our bond is one that I cherish, and I am so thankful to them for their friendship. I can't wait to see you all!
2. My friends
As I stated in my last article, I believe it's very important to take good care of your good friends. I feel incredibly thankful for the great friends that I have made throughout my life so far. Some of my closest friends are friends that I haven't known for all that long, while others are friends that I've been fortunate enough to have had in my life since I was six or seven years old. Friends from grade school, middle school, high school, work, and college: if you're reading this, I want to thank you. There are few things in life as beautiful as having real, dependable, honest, and compassionate friends. I've been very fortunate and I consistently reflect on the blessing of having so many wonderful people in my life.
3. The United States of America
I'm so thankful to live in this wonderful country. With an evident amount of division that has risen in recent weeks, I think it is more important than ever to recognize the incredible privilege that it is to live in the United States of America. Though this election has brought an incredible amount of division to the surface, I feel as though it is important to remember that we have the privilege of living in a country that represents and values life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The president is incapable of becoming a king, and we have a system of checks and balances for this exact reason. I sincerely hope that the President- Elect will do all that he possibly can to bind the wounds of division within the nation, and that he will continue to enact policies and conduct relations that depict and represent the true values and tenets that are at the core of what this nation truly stands for. While this is a difficult reality for many Americans to face, I believe that regardless of political viewpoints it is in the best interest for all Americans and for the country at large to try and unite in order to work towards achieving a positive future and for the common good of the nation.
This may sound vague, but I am thankful for the various opportunities that I have been given. I have the opportunity to go to school in Washington, D.C., the capital of this great nation. I have the opportunity to receive an education that will benefit me for the rest of my life. I'm thankful for the opportunities that I've had in the past, whether they were presented to me when I was very young or when I was in high school. Opportunities have the ability to enhance all of our lives, and they can be found around every corner. Opportunities help us to mature, to gain a greater perspective, and to push us closer to our individual goals in life.
5. Health and Happiness
I am thankful for good health and for happiness. Good health is not something that should ever be taken for granted. Happiness should not be taken for granted, either. If it is possible, I believe it is important to donate your time or to make some contribution to a charity that will help benefit the lives of those that are sick or in need of help, or both. I am thankful for the opportunity to help others and to give back, and I find so much happiness in doing these things. Donating your time to someone in need is so powerful, and it will bring about a feeling that will encourage you to keep assisting as many people as you can. There are many people in this world that need a little help and encouragement, and providing those people with these things is rewarding in every single way.
I could list so many other things that I am thankful for, but I believe that this is a good starting point. Life is good, and it's important to give thanks and give back during the holiday season.