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Five Things for which I Am Grateful Today

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I can blog about my gratitude without seeming to jump on the bandwagon. It’s a fashionably late sort of thing. Anyway…

  1. My wife and children are always the first people who spring to my mind. I enjoy spending time with them and helping them. Each one enriches my life in unique ways. I am grateful that they are part of my life.
  2. I am grateful for a seemingly stable job. In these turbulent times, I understand how precarious a thing jobs are. I’ve been unemployed and remember how demoralizing it can be. I hope I don’t have to relive that.
  3. I am grateful to be alive. The fact that I am currently enjoying my turn at life is astounding. There was and will be an eternity of time without me in the universe. This short time between those voids of nonexistence is precious to me.
  4. I am thankful for my health. It could be gone tomorrow, in the blink of an eye. Or it could slowly ebb away with age. I hope to enjoy it while it lasts.
  5. I am grateful to live in an age of enlightenment. I often bemoan our superstition and ignorance, but the truth is that knowledge is more available than ever before.

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  1. Kullervo said,

    December 7, 2008 @ 5:53 am

    I’m not actually convinced that we live in an Age of Enlightenment. We live in a world where an amazing amount of information is available, but I’m not sure that necessarily–or even likely, or in fact–translates into something positive.

  2. Jonathan Blake said,

    December 7, 2008 @ 7:06 am

    We could point to both positive and negative aspects of the current era when compared to the past. On the whole, I believe the ordinary person’s life is better. Medical science is a good example. We live longer and healthier because we rely less on superstition. Knowledge is indeed power. I just hope we use it wisely.

  3. Kullervo said,

    December 7, 2008 @ 1:14 pm

    Eh, I don’t know. We live longer lives, sure. But we extend most peoples’ lives so far that huge numbers of people spend decades with a quality of life that is apalling, due to the inevitable medical problems of extreme old age, and the ramifications of a person’s inability to work (either a physical inablity or a socially constructed ability).

    I’ll grant you that most people, at least in American society, have a dazzling corpus of material goods compared to most of the rest of the world throughout most of history. But I’m absolutely unconvinced that any of that translates into “better lives.”

  4. Jonathan Blake said,

    December 7, 2008 @ 2:57 pm

    Well, global life expectancy at birth has more than doubled from about 30 to 67 since 1800, and those extra 30 years are not burdened by the age-related problems you mention.

    I agree that material wealth doesn’t translate to better lives necessarily. It only increases happiness insofar as it allows us to transcend concerns about the brute necessities of life. If we have enough money that we don’t worry about water, food, shelter, and so on, then we have enough.

    Beyond material goods, we have unprecedented access to knowledge. The very idea of truly public libraries is only a couple centuries old. Various cultures have had ages of enlightenment. The current global trend is unprecedented.

  5. Kullervo said,

    December 8, 2008 @ 7:35 am

    Fair enough. I’m not suggesting we’re living in a dark age or anything. I’ve just recently become increasingly disenchanted with a lot of the things about modern life that we tend to rattle off as being so great. I’m not really trying to rain on your gratitude parade.

  6. Jonathan Blake said,

    December 8, 2008 @ 9:16 am

    That’s good, because another one is coming up. :)

  7. Green Oasis » Five Things for which I Am Grateful Today said,

    December 8, 2008 @ 9:38 am

    [...] [This is a continuation of my experiment in gratitude.] [...]

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