Let us all be thankful

I’m Thankful For...

It’s Thanksgiving! I can barely believe that on the other side of the world, my family is preparing to celebrate what they are grateful for. Here in a foreign country, without most of the things I consider blessings in my life, and among people who have almost nothing but are so grateful for the little they have, I am compelled to contemplate the things that I am most thankful for.

Tonight after a Thanksgiving feast of rice, mystery meat, bread, and vegetables soaked in curry, we had a meeting. We sat down in a circle and all shared one thing that we were grateful for. After teaching in villages rife with poverty for the past few days, I chose to be thankful for the opportunity for a good education. When I see how much these children love to learn, and the brightness of understanding in their eyes, it makes me realize how much I take my educational opportunities for granted. I would be nothing without them. Looking out at these children, I wonder what I would have been like if our places had been switched, and I had been born in this very village, without the opportunity to go to a good school, have educated parents, books, or college ambitions, and they had come into the world in the prosperity I enjoy in my life. The very thought makes me shiver. After getting to know them, I know that they could have been just as successful and intelligent as I am. So why did things end up as they are, with me having so much more potential than them just because of where I was born?

With this question in mind, I know that I need to take advantage of my opportunities for these children I have grown to love. It is my responsibility to become my best with what I have been given, now that I know that there is a village full of children on the other side of the world that could have been in my place.

with Love and gratitude for all - Nathan