I’m Thankful.

I am thankful for the following:

For being alive.  For having a consciousness.  I thank my mother and father for discovering each other and having enough faith in one another to have me.

For my past.  For all the people who have influenced my development. I am particularly thankful for my mother and father in this regard.  To my father for instilling in me a love of books and knowledge (and all that that implies), teaching me by example the concept of family loyalty and again, through example, the importance of being your own man. And, for an attitude.

From my mother I was taught the family’s 11th CommandmentThou Shalt Not Sweat It! That I was unequivocally loved. To always have dreams.   That art is life. “It’s art.”  And, that the unexplored life is not really living.

I am thankful for my brother and sisters who have been unwaveringly loyal, loving and supportive. Inspirational, too!

I am thankful for my wife and for the children we have raised, the family we are and for our life together. I would be less of a man without their influence and impact upon my life. They are an unequivocally rich blessing.

I am thankful for all the wonderful, delightful friends I have all over America who accept me with all my idiosyncrasies, flaws, excesses and arrogance. I thank them, too, for their individuality, generosity, creativity and affection.

I am thankful for all who have inspired me.

I am thankful to be alive in 21st century America. I am thankful we live in a representational democracy and that peaceful change is possible.  I am thankful that hope is a possibility.

I am thankful that America was blessed with bountiful resources and incredible human talent that have contributed to the standard of living that I, and those I care for experience today.

I am thankful America is about freedom to pursue your dreams and not about truths imposed.

I am thankful for living in the West, to be a “product” of Western thought and traditions.  I am thankful for the Renaissance.  Again, I am thankful for my freedom.  I am thankful that the West had its religious wars hundreds of years ago and that the wisdom of separation of church and state will not be lost to us.

I am thankful for an economic system that has transformed my life materially and for the better.

I am thankful that our economic system creates wise and successful men and women who understand that there are considerations beyond the bottom line or, the bottom line is more than dollars and cents. (Yea, it’s Euros! Ha!)

I am thankful for the American not-for-profit sector.  Imagine your life without the many contributions (real, meaningful and measurable impact) of our non-profits? One of the genuine reasons America is a special place in the world is our non-profit sector.

I am thankful for art.  Museum art.  Gallery art.  Book art. My art. Yard art.  Street art.  Marybelle’s art. Sandra’s art.  Stephen’s art.  Public art.  Private art. For books!  Essays.   Fiction.  History. Art. And architecture! Everywhere and anywhere.  Historical architecture. Modern.  All of it that is beautiful, stimulating, and stunning.  And movies! THE MOVIES!!!  I so love American film. English & Australian.  French, too.  And Italian.   I am thankful, so thankful for music.  For jazz. For Coltrane, Davis, Getz, Brubeck, for WUCF FM 89.9, the “BEST” radio station in Florida. IN THE UNIVERSE!

I am thankful for living in Central Florida.  I am thankful for the local citizen who runs (and serves) for public office and tries to do good by looking out for all of us.

I am thankful for the discussion which is America.  I am thankful to the Observer (Thank you, Kyle.  And thank you, Gerhard.  A tip of my hat to both of you.) for providing a forum for this ongoing discussion.

I am thankful that America was created with ideals in mind. Like it or not, America is an ideal.

Freedom.  How do you balance the freedom I so love (as do you) with the need for national solidarity and cooperation? Through discussion.  You do it by talking and listening and synthesizing. An American ideal is that the conversation, the national dialog never stops.  (Judge America’s pulse, its health by the conversation it has with its self.)  I am thankful for that.

I am thankful for family and friends and turkey and dressing and noodles and gravy (gottta have gravy to die for) and butter and rolls and salads and desserts and champagne and music and laughter and light and hilarity. And toasts.

And conversation.

I am thankful for all that and I am thankful for you, the reader.  Thanks for reading the Observer and Happy Thanks Giving 2007!

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