What are you thankful for today?

I’m thankful to be alive. Eight months ago, I had open heart surgery. I was sedated and intubated for five days and spent a total of two weeks in the intensive care unit.

I’m thankful that I have a loving family. Many people don’t, and I consider myself fortunate. My spouse, Mary, was at my side during my long convalescence and made sure that I walked 2-3 miles every day to regain my strength. My two sons and four grandsons give me joy, for which I am grateful.

I’m thankful that I have the means to live comfortably. Many people don’t, and I hate to think that one of the richest countries in the world is unable to reduce the dramatic income inequality and wealth inequality in our country. People should not go without health care because they can’t afford it. People should not go to bed hungry because they can’t afford food. People should not sleep in the streets or in shelters because they can’t afford housing. We see the gaps and the suffering around us, and we see billionaires flying to space in their own vehicles. Yet Congress is unwilling to tax billionaires. I’m not thankful for that. I’m outraged.

I’m thankful for the many essential workers, including teachers and school staff, who have worked with dedication to enable us to get through the pandemic.

I am thankful, as a woman and a Jew, to live in the USA at this time in history. I never forget that the extended families of both my parents were killed in Europe in the 1930s because of their religion. Sure, we live in perilous times, but I feel that I was born in the right place at the right time to make the most of my life.

I’m thankful for the free press and for journalists who shine light on abuses of power and protect our democracy.

I’m thankful to all those who struggle to improve our society, who fight injustice, who understand the need to safeguard our environment, and who are engaged in the political arena to demand a better, more equitable, peaceful future.

I have a lot to be thankful for. I hope you do too.