Yesterday I celebrated one month of marriage. I couldn’t be any happier, so I have a lot to be thankful for this year.
But it occurred to me just now, as I was working, that there are things that we are blessed to have, and yet most of us, me included, take those blessings for granted.
I’m talking about electricity and the appliances that run off it.
So today, I am thankful that I live in a country where I have unlimited access to electricity at a price I can afford.
I’m thankful that while I work, my clothes are being washed, as are my dishes.
While I sit at a computer typing, my floor is being vacuumed. Yes, I have a robot vacuum, it was a wedding present. It’s really, really great.
I’m thankful for my crockpot that is cooking sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving. I threw them in and hit a button. Could cooking be any easier?
Don’t worry, I’m not serving plain sweet potatoes for Thanksgiving, they will go in a casserole once they’re cooked, but, hey, I’m a millennial, easy life hacks are what we’re known for!
I’m thankful for air cleaners, because I’m allergic to the dog who just laid his head on my computer keyboard.
And I’m thankful for heat, because it’s cold outside.
This list could go on for pages, because energy is required for everything.
I have a refrigerator and a freezer, and they revolutionize life! Both mine and my then fiancé’s (now husband) refrigerators died this year. It is really hard to live without one for a week. It really is. Try it.
I have an electric kettle, and I use it all day. Tea is necessary for life. No hot water means no tea, no coffee, and no functioning. It’s a rough life without hot water, and it’s a whole lot easier to heat water in a kettle or on a stove.
To make my highly-caffeinated beverages, I use clean water. Energy is required to provide that clean water, and energy is required to make it magically appear from five separate places in my house.
And if I want it, I can make that water hot with the turn of a knob.
If I want something to run, whether it be my computer, the TV, a Kindle, the hair dryer, or whatever other electric-powered thing I use on a daily basis, I plug it into a wall and, voila, it works.
If something were to happen to me or my family over this Thanksgiving, I would drive three blocks to a hospital, where they will have electricity to run whatever life-saving, health-improving, or pain-reducing machine or test necessary.
How more blessed can we be? Seriously.
Millions of people in this world don’t have electricity at all. And for those who do, many face far higher costs, and use many fewer appliances.
As you read this, I hope that your response isn’t guilt. Our response to blessings shouldn’t be, “I should have less,” it should be, “How can I help others have more?” The United States and other Western countries prove that flourishing can come from poverty. Growth can happen!
The Pilgrims had almost nothing when they celebrated the first Thanksgiving. Now look how far their descendants have come.
I hope your Thanksgiving is full of joy. Let’s keep working to spread that joy to others!
Megan is the Director of Communications for the Cornwall Alliance for the Stewardship of Creation, and Editor of EarthRisingBlog.com. You can follow her on Twitter @MeganToombs.