I had a few moments to write down some of my thoughts, so I thought I would share those with you. The title asks a simple question, yet there seems to be little thought or attention given to this question when we really have so much to be thankful for. It seems that we take for granted the little things in life that truly define our existence. A roof over your head, clothes on your back, and food to eat are simple concepts that we never really think twice about unless you have experienced the hardship. The simple fact that we are being protected by the greatest military on the planet. They honor their country by giving their life to defend it. Unless we have friends, family members, former students, or are simply informed about current issues (props to you), people don't necessarily think about the effects of war until they have experienced it in some way shape or form. Terrorism is an ongoing battle that plagues the entire globe. The United States has stepped up their security protocol in airports allowing full body scans and "extreme" pat-downs. I don't know what the fuss is about. I am thankful that our government is willing to do what is necessary to keep us safe on commercial airlines. My wife will be traveling internationally next year, and I have a calming feeling that I know she will be safe. We need to truly remember the words of the Declaration of rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. We need to be thankful that we live in the greatest country in the world where although we might have a difference of opinion, we have the right to freedom of speech. "I may not like what you have to say, but I'll defend to the death your right to say it" - Voltaire says it best. Not too many countries in the world are open to disagreement and therefore silence the critics with violence. Put it in perspective, we have so many things that we should be thankful for.
In no particular order, I would like to list the things that I am thankful for:
1) a week off of school
2) a roof over my head, food to eat, clothes on my back, and a sense of stability.
3) my wife Carmen - she is my rock and best friend.
4) almost eight full years of bliss with my dog Queenie (miss you!)
5) my family - mom (Freddie - short for Elfriede - good German name), dad (John), brother (Chris), sister (Stephanie), in laws (Ed and Rose), my Oma (Lena), Aunts Susan, Nancy, and Joyce, Uncles David and Emil, Cousins Benjamin, Brent, Jeremiah, and Kevin
6) my job - I consider this my career because I was simply put on this planet to teach; it's my passion. I work with some great teachers in my department (best department on campus: Social Science!!!)
7) my students - without you, I wouldn't want to come to school every day
8) my baseball team - I love teaching the game; it's who I am.
9) my country
10) my faith
Always cherish the time you have and be thankful every day that you have the ability to spend time with family and friends, to do the things you love, your freedoms and rights, responsibilities and interests, to take ownership of your education, to become involved and current on issues, to take action and promote change, and to care for your fellow brother and sister. If we take care of one another, then this world will definitely become a better place.
I am thankful that there are people that are making sacrifices and promoting change for the improvement of our world. On Thanksgiving night (Thursday, November 25) CNN is having an All-Star Tribute to some of these people that are sacrificing themselves and truly being selfless to make the lives of others better. The link for the program is in the title of this post.
EXTRA CREDIT OPPORTUNITY FOR BOTH GOVERNMENT AND WORLD HISTORY:
I want you to watch the tribute on CNN (see website for time and details). Of the stories that are presented, I want you to take notes on a minimum of three people. You will include names of the people, and what they did to become one of CNN's Heroes. After you have taken your notes, I want you to write a reaction of two paragraphs per person giving me a short summary of their background, and what about their story truly spoke to you? In other words, why did you pick these people to write about?
Your comment is due on Sunday, November 28 by 11:59 pm (government students); World History students, your written work is due on Monday, November 29 at the beginning of class. Quality work could receive up to fifty points of extra credit, if done really well. Be sure to proofread your work, and remember there are space limitations to comments, so you may need to take your original, cut it in half, and post two (2) comments. No late work will be accepted.
Finally, enjoy your break. Be safe and cherish the day, and be thankful that all of the human race is connected in at least one way: life.