I may not be a fan, at all, of the culture and celebrations and historical background of this holiday, but well. The idea behind it, at least, is worthwhile. So a simple question:
What should I remember to be thankful for today?
The goggle-eyed frog in this picture stands at attention, a defensive stance. He carries a wand, and we can see eight others behind him, forming a sort of fence, a barrier, a safeguard.
Certainly the frog is doing what he can to stay alert, to protect himself and what's his. But what draws my attention in this image are those wands - those pillars of support, those tools. Where would he be without them? How safe can you be if you have nothing to rely on?
Reliability, support, a foundation - something you can fall back on when need be. I have parents that continue to be willing to help and support me, to the degree that they can, even though I am an adult now; I have friends I can talk to, trust. I have cards and books and the healthy coping mechanisms I have managed to slowly develop over time.
More basic still: I have a safe place to live. I have access to food, clothing. I do not live in a country where I have serious reason to fear for my life when going about daily activities All my life I have had access to clean water, basic medical care, education.
Of course those are the bare basics, but unfortunately, so many people do without them. Doing research for another presentation, readings about Armenian genocide...depressing, that, very much so.
I have tools, internal - my mind, my resilience - and external, situational. A basic level of stability from which I can build, grow. Its such a basic thing, so close to us, that it is easy to forget about. Made up of so many things that you don't even think about until or unless you suddenly find them gone. But they are worth remembering, and appreciating.
In so many ways, where you start in life is just a crapshoot, a throw of the metaphorical dice. It's easy to focus on the obstacles, on what you were born lacking - but important also to remember the advantages, those wands, the comfort of fortifications.